Senate pours cold water on House alternative to gas tax plan

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A proposal by House Republicans to raise Tennessee transportation revenues through sales tax collections is receiving a chilly reception from Senate leadership.

Gov. Bill Haslam has presented a plan to tackle a $10 billion backlog in road and bridge projects largely by raising the tax on gasoline by 7 cents a gallon and diesel by 12 cents per gallon.

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

State Rep. David Hawk of Greeneville on Wednesday presented his plan to use existing sales taxes instead of hiking the gas tax.

Speaker Randy McNally, an Oak Ridge Republican who previously served as chairman of the finance committee, said any departure from the state’s existing method of paying for roads through taxes collected at the pump opens the door toward incurring debt and putting the state’s fiscal stability at risk.