Gov. Haslam's effort to index future fuel tax increases to inflation draws opposition

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

NASHVILLE - Tennessee gas station and convenience store operators are fighting a provision in Gov. Bill Haslam's gas tax increase plan that would index future fuel-price hikes every two years to the rate of inflation.

In a letter sent last month to legislators, Emily LeRoy, executive director of the Tennessee Fuel and Convenience Store Association (TFCA), called the indexing provision a "blank check" for state government.

"We believe our customers will oppose an automatic tax increase, which is anti-consumer and contrary to Tennessee's reputation as a fiscally conservative state," the letter states. "We want to support this legislation, but cannot be supportive" if that's included.

LeRoy told the Times Free Press via email last week the association is not fighting Haslam's plan to hike fuel taxes by 7 cents per gallon for gasoline and 12 cents per gallon for diesel, just the indexing proposal.

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