Revised version of Gov. Haslam's gas tax bill clears key Tennessee House panel

FILE - In this Monday, Jan. 30, 2017, file photo, Gov. Bill Haslam gives his annual State of the State address to a joint convention of the Tennessee General, Assembly in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

NASHVILLE - An amended version of Gov. Bill Haslam's gas tax bill cleared a key House panel today on a voice vote and is now headed to the full Finance Committee.

The major change by the Budget Subcommittee was taking a provision boosting local property tax relief for veterans and inserting the language in a stand-alone bill which members passed first.

"Many of our members are unhappy that we've tied veterans' benefits with the road building issue," Budget Subcommittee Chairman Gerald McCormick, R-Chattanooga, explained.

Senators had inserted the veterans' relief provisions, the subject of a number of stand-alone bills, into their version of the IMPROVE Act. The bill raises gas and diesel taxes for the highway fund but includes several tax cuts in the general fund.

A number of House members, several of whom had their own separate veterans' relief bills, oppose the gas tas.