Republican Gov. Bill Haslam of Tennessee unveiled his legislative agenda for 2017 on Wednesday, including a proposal to hike the diesel tax by 12 cents per gallon to almost 31 cents per gallon. The proposal follows a long-ongoing statewide discussion, initiated in part by the governor, of state and local needs transportation infrastructure needs, detailing a bevy of projects approved by the state legislature but in need of funding to move ahead.
Haslam, a former mayor of the city of Knoxville and a member of the Haslam family associated with Pilot Flying J, introduced the “IMPROVE Act” proposal to address such needs. In addition to the diesel hike, the plan calls for a smaller, 7-cent-per-gallon boost in gas taxes (to almost 29 cents) as well as passenger-vehicle registration fees. As some other states have proposed in recent years, both diesel and gas taxes would then be indexed to fluctuate with the Consumer Price Index, with a cap preventing outsize increases.
Reportedly, at an event in the state capital, Nashville, Haslam was joined by several city mayors from around the state and leaders among the state’s trucking industry.
Other fuel tax hikes around the country
Pennsylvania increased its diesel tax by 10.7 cents on Jan. 1, bringing the tax to 75.8 cents – the highest in the country.
Michigan‘s diesel tax increased by 11.3 cents to 26.3 cents at the first of the year.
New Jersey increased its diesel tax by 15.9 cents on Jan. 1 to 36.5 cents. The state will increase the tax again on July 1 by 8 cents to reach 44.5 cents.
Nebraska raised its diesel tax by 1.5 cents to 27.3 cents per gallon.
Georgia implemented a slight increase in its diesel tax of 0.4 cent.
North Carolina, like Georgia, raised the tax slightly by 0.3 cent.
Indiana‘s diesel rate will fluctuate month-to-month, but as of Jan. 1, it increased by 0.2 cent.
Florida, like Georgia, North Carolina and Indiana, adjusted its diesel tax rate slightly, increasing it by 0.1 cent.
Two states – New York and West Virginia – actually lowered their diesel tax rates based on the price of fuel in 2017. New York dropped its tax by 0.8 cent, and West Virginia’s diesel tax dropped a full cent.