How does Haslam’s gas tax plan affect people who drive for a living?

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Filling up the gas tank in your sedan or SUV is expensive enough, but that’s a fraction of what it costs to buy a tank of diesel for an 18-wheeler or dump truck.

Matthew Hassell and Rick Jones both drive dump trucks in Nashville. The trucks have 90 gallon fuel tanks.

They don’t pay for the diesel, but their bosses do, so we asked what they think of the governor’s plan to raise the gas tax.

“I think it’s horrible,” Jones said. “I think we are already taxed enough for fuel.”

“It’s going to hurt in a big way,” said Hassell.

Haslam’s plan would increase the tax on a gallon of regular by 7 cents and add an additional 12 cents for a gallon of diesel. The gas tax hasn’t been adjusted since 1989.

Governor Haslam says more people are using the roads, but they’re driving vehicles that are more fuel efficient.

That means they’re buying less gas and contributing less to the transportation fund.

“Improved fuel mileage for vehicles has been great for the economy, great for the environment and great for consumers’ pocket books,” Governor Haslam said in his State of the State address Monday night. “However, it has also meant that everyone drives on our roads for a lot less of the cost than they did back in 1989.”

The aim is to generate revenue for roughly $11 billion in transportation needs statewide.

To help offset the costs to residents, the plan calls for cuts to business, grocery and personal investment taxes.

For drivers like Hassell and Jones, they want the better roads but are worried about paying more for fuel.

“I’m saying to the governor right now, if you’re listening, please bring the fuel prices down,” said Jones.