MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) – Republican Gov. Bill Haslam is opening the door to putting off a gas tax increase in an election year, but warns that officials need to stop “kidding ourselves” about Tennessee’s long list of unfunded road projects.
Haslam stressed to reporters after an economic development announcement in Murfreesboro last week that he has yet to make any specific recommendations about how to begin tackling the $6 billion backlog.
But with all 99 House seats and 16 of 33 senators up for election in 2016, the governor acknowledged that political considerations could make it difficult to pass the state’s first gas tax increase in more than 25 years.
Haslam argues that many lawmakers are willing to address the issue next year despite a growing number of vocal opponents.