Senate OKs extending temporary Tennessee tax into 4th decade

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee’s “temporary” tax used to pay for roadside cleanup would extend into its fourth decade under a bill advancing in the state Legislature.

The tax on beer and soft drinks was first enacted in 1981, and has been reauthorized every six years since then.

The levy is 50 cents on each barrel of beer and 0.4 percent on gross receipts of soft drink sales. It raises about $4.8 million each year for cleanup efforts.

Republican Sen. Ken Yager of Kingston, the main Senate sponsor of the bill, said the tax has led to the collection of 300,000 tons of roadside litter around the state.

The Senate voted 32-0 to approve the bill on Monday. The House Finance Committee is scheduled to take up the matter on Tuesday.