State Rep. Johnny Shaw talks effects of Improve Act


BOLIVAR, Tenn. —  A statewide plan to cut food taxes while updating roads and streets will take effect this July. State Rep. Johnny Shaw spoke about how the act will affect residents in the area.

“The average family will save almost $3 per month even with the gasoline increase but the decrease on food taxes,” Rep. Shaw said.

State officials say the revenue from gas taxes will fund road and street projects. One of the bigger projects under the act is the Bolivar bypass, which will be a two-lane road. Shaw said the city’s main interest is keeping the trucks out of Bolivar, not the traffic.

“Give the trucks a convenient route to get around Bolivar that are passing through,” Shaw said. “That means money for us because the trucks are having to pay those diesel fuel tax, but we don’t have bring them right downtown.”

Although some residents may be concerned about the changes, Shaw says the ultimate goal is to increase jobs, create better roads and improve safety.

“We want our kids safe, and we don’t want them on the school buses with bridges caving in,” Shaw said.

State leaders say the IMPROVE Act will bring in close to a million dollars for Hardeman County roads and bridges, and 30 percent of that for city streets. Shaw says change is on the way, but he is remaining optimistic about the public’s response.

“Every citizen who’s a little reluctant about it, who’s complaining a little about paying the high gasoline taxes, is going to say, ‘you know, this was really for our good,'” Shaw said.

Shaw says the total span for the road projects are over the next 10 years with some of the smaller projects happening within the first three years.

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