Conservative leaders speak out against Tenn. gas tax
Representatives with the following organizations signed on to the letter: Americans for Prosperity, the Nashville Tea Party, the Tennessee Republican Assembly, America First Tennessee, Tennessee Firearms Association, Red Nation Rising, Tri-Cities Tea Party, Tea Party Nation, and the 9-12 Project. The signees are a who's who of conservative grassroots leaders across the state.
The House Transportation Committee is set to hear Governor Haslam’s gas tax bill. Different versions of the bill are being floated in the Senate and House committees.
[Editor's note: The letter is reproduced below, minus the lengthy list of signatures.]
Dear Members of the Tennessee Legislature:
As conservative leaders across Tennessee, we are proud to stand with Americans for Prosperity, the Nashville Tea Party, the Tennessee Republican Assembly, America First Tennessee, Red Nation Rising TN, and the vast majority of Tennesseans who oppose raising Tennessee gasoline and diesel taxes. We do not believe that ANY tax increase or new taxes are needed while Tennessee has been the beneficiary of BILLIONS of dollars in new recurring revenue and surpluses in recent years, including an anticipated nearly TWO BILLION DOLLARS in surplus and recurring revenue in the upcoming fiscal year.
We believe that additional road construction funding can be allocated from the increased recurring funding and from the budget surpluses that we have seen in the past two years and another billion dollars anticipated in the upcoming fiscal year. As the Trump Administration plans on providing billions of dollars in infrastructure funding, we should wait to see what funds may be forthcoming from our Federal tax dollars before allowing the State to dig its hands deeper into the pockets of Tennessee taxpayers.
Additionally, we deem a thorough and transparent examination of potential waste, fraud and abuse in the Tennessee Department of Transportation to be necessary to insure responsible management of existing road funds while also generating new ideas that could promote cost savings and assist in the distribution of allocated funds that ensure economy, efficiency and effectiveness of future department programs and operations.
At a time when Tennessee taxpayers have been OVERCHARGED by BILLIONS of dollars, it is irresponsible to even consider asking hardworking Tennesseans to pay higher taxes. We respectfully request (1) that you reject any and all efforts to raise the gasoline and diesel taxes; (2) that you allocate any additional spending on road and bridge construction and maintenance from the current surplus and/or recurring funds; (3) that you initiate an immediate and complete review of current funding, processes and procedures at the Tennessee Department of Transportation to ensure that Tennessee taxpayers are getting the maximum benefit from our tax dollars.
For more information about Americans For Prosperity, see Americans ForProsperity.org.