NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Two House Democrats are calling upon Governor Bill Lee to put a 90-day freeze on gas taxes amid the rising price of oil in Tennessee.
According to GasBuddy.com, Tuesday’s prices at the pump were up 55 cents compared to last week’s average in Tennessee.
Representatives John Ray Clemmons and Bo Mitchell held a news conference Tuesday morning asking Governor Lee to place a 90-day moratorium on gas and diesel taxes. They said Governor Lee could take such action through an executive order, the budget implementation bill that has yet to be finalized, or through a stand-alone bill.
“While this may require a financial sacrifice, temporarily, on behalf of our state, we think this is a signal and a strong investment in democracy abroad,” Rep. Clemmons said.
According to Representative Mitchell, each year the state’s gas tax brings in roughly $900 million. The 90-day moratorium would cost the state roughly $224 million, something he feels the state could afford considering Tennessee’s recent years of financial surplus.
“Many families are just now recovering from the pandemic, being out of work, and they just don’t need this extra cost put upon them. So putting this $224 million back into families’ pockets will ease the pain for many Tennesseans and the state with the surplus we’ve had over the last few years, we can easily afford this for Tennessee families.”
TDOT reports Tennessee’s current gas tax is 27.4 cents per gallon.