Nashville legislators ask governor to place moratorium on state’s gas, diesel taxes

Nashville gas prices
Nashville gas prices
Published: Mar. 8, 2022 at 12:36 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 8, 2022 at 10:38 PM CST
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Two Nashville legislators have asked Gov. Bill Lee to place a moratorium on the state’s collection of gas and diesel taxes for a period of 90 days, the legislators said Tuesday during a press conference.

Reps. John Ray Clemmons and Bo Mitchell, both Nashville Democrats, sent a letter to Lee on Tuesday asking for the moratorium to lower gas prices for Tennessee citizens.

“The war in Ukraine is having a direct impact on our country and state, and this will likely continue for some time. As you surely agree, our nation’s full support of our international neighbors in Ukraine is a just cause. We must do all that we can, as Americans, to stand against unjustified military aggression by Russia. This just cause may require sacrifice and engagement on our part as Tennesseans, as well from corporate America, our faith community, civic groups and importantly, our state government,” Clemmons and Mitchell said in the letter.

As of Tuesday, gas prices in Tennessee averaged $3.96 per gallon, up from $3.87 on Monday and $3.18 a month ago. In Nashville, the average gallon of gas costs $3.98 on Tuesday, up 10 cents from Monday and $3.32 a month ago.

“While gas prices have not yet set records, when adjusted for inflation, we can fairly expect them to remain high and possibly increase, posing a real challenge for working families in every community across our state,” the representatives wrote. “We are uniquely positioned, as state leaders, to provide a bit of relief in the form of eliminating all or a portion of our gas and diesel taxes for the requested period of time. We understand this will have a direct impact on the transportation fund in our state, but we are a fiscally sound state with ample resources to fill in any budgetary gaps that may be created. While this may appear to be a financial sacrifice by our state today, it should prove to be a great investment in democracy abroad.”

Clemmons and Mitchell said in the letter the moratorium can be accomplished via the budget implementation bill, stand alone legislation or an Executive Order.

“To the extent which we can be of assistance in the legislative process, we stand ready to assist in this effort. Regardless which avenue you choose, leadership on this topic is imperative, and we call on you to join us and take immediate action for the benefit of Tennessee’s working families.”

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