|The Latest: Harwell alternative to gas tax fizzles in
AP-House Speaker Beth Harwell's effort to strip any fuel tax increases from fellow Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's road funding proposal has fizzled — at least for now.
Haslam's proposal was approved by the House Finance Committee after a proposed rewrite of the bill was withdrawn.
The measure now heads to the House Calendar and Rules Committee, which in nearly all cases is a formality for getting a floor vote scheduled. But with Harwell's ongoing efforts to scuttle the tax, the panel made up of committee chairmen and other legislative leaders may present another chance to try to halt the measure's progress.
The speaker's supporters also threatened to try to amend the bill if it reaches the floor.
Haslam argues his proposal represents a net tax cut for Tennesseans because of reductions in other areas.
The change supported by Republican House Speaker Beth Harwell would rewrite the legislation to instead draw the bulk of the funding for new road and bridge construction from sales taxes paid on new and used vehicles. It would also create new taxes on electric and hybrid vehicles, and increase registration fees.
The proposal does not include any of the tax cuts that the governor has proposed to balance against a gas tax hike. They would include reductions to the sales tax on groceries, corporate taxes paid by manufacturers and the tax on earnings from stocks and bonds.