Republican Gov. Bill Haslam says he supports giving cities and counties the power to levy their own gas tax to help pay for transportation needs.
Haslam told the Tennessee Municipal League on Monday that raising the gas tax could present what he called a “danger” of driving businesses to other areas, but the former Knoxville mayor said he would leave that decision to local elected officials.
The Haslam administration has been making its case for increasing the state’s gas tax for the first time since 1989 as a way to help cover a $6 billion backlog in transportation project funding.
While Haslam acknowledged that a gas tax hike is unlikely to be considered this legislative session, he said he wants to be ready in case enough lawmakers decide to proceed.