Haslam Family Gas Tax Increase Passes
Governor Bill Haslam's gas tax increase that will enrich himself and his family passed both the house and senate chambers Wednesday. Every Tennessean will now be paying higher taxes for every gallon of gas they buy but Haslam doesn't care. After all, he is the richest elected official in the country and he and his family own one of the largest gas station businesses in the country. It's a win, win for him.
In reality, Haslam didn't pass the tax hike, he didn't even have a vote. He had to depend on his weak-kneed legislators to pass the increase and he got a bunch of them. All the democrats but one voted for it in the house and 37 republicans voted yes. 36 Voted no. Only 6 senators opposed the hike.
Not surprising Haslam wanted higher taxes, we've known for a long time he wasn't a republican but disappointingly, at least one of our local legislators voted to stick it to the people. Senator Randy McNally, who represents Loudon County, voted YES on the gas tax hike with nearly two billion dollars in the state fund balance. Both state representatives, Jimmy Matlock and Kent Calfee, who represent Loudon County voted NO on the hike. I guess now that McNally is Lieutenant Governor, he felt he had more in common with Haslam than the people he represents. That's OK, there will be another election one day and I guarantee you, McNally has gotten the last vote from my family he will ever get.
In a grand show of hypocrisy, house speaker Beth Harwell also voted for the tax hike. Harwell has announced that she plans to run for governor next year to take over for Haslam. Harwell had pretended she was opposed to the increase, even going to the extent to claim she had an alternative plan that wouldn't require a tax increase. Of course that was just a bunch of bunk to try to help her campaign. She need not be campaigning at 568 Ford Road.
If there is any good news from all the idiocy out of Nashville, it is that Haslam didn't get as big of a tax increase as he wanted and what he did get will be phased in over three years. Maybe when Haslam is gone and a bunch of these turncoat politicians get beat, this wrong can be righted.
I say again, it's always the ones with money who want the ones with less to pay higher taxes.