Tennessee Senate panel changes, OKs governor’s roads plan

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A Tennessee legislative panel has changed and passed Gov. Bill Haslam’s transportation bill, which Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris says would ensure people save more in food tax cuts than they’d pay in a gas tax hike.

Norris called the bill a compromise with Haslam as the Senate Transportation and Safety Committee passed it by a 7-1 margin Monday.

Over three years, Norris said the gas tax would increase 6 cents a gallon and the diesel tax would jump 10 cents a gallon. Initially, Haslam proposed a 7-cent gas tax increase and 12-cent diesel hike.

Norris said the food tax would decrease to 4 percent from 5 percent under current law.

In the House, a committee has previously removed fuel tax hikes to rely on sales taxes for road projects.