Gas tax supporters buy $127K in radio ads

A group of associations backing Gov. Bill Haslam’s proposed IMPROVE Act is launching a statewide radio campaign with ads touting the legislation that raises fuel taxes for transportation while also cutting other taxes, reports the Times-Free Press.

With the legislation heading to the state House and Senate floor as early as next week, the Transportation Coalition of Tennessee plans to begin airing the 60-second spots starting Thursday, going through April 21. The $127,000 buy’s hits the Chattanooga, Jackson, Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville and Tri-Cities markets.

Dubbed the “It’s Smart” series, the ads say “it’s smart to support better roads, safe bridges and tax cuts.”

The organization’s news release is below.

News release from Transportation Coalition of Tennessee

NASHVILLE (April 12, 2017) – The Transportation Coalition of Tennessee, a coalition of businesses, citizens, community leaders, public officials and organizations committed to improving Tennessee’s transportation infrastructure, has begun a statewide radio advertising campaign that encourages Tennessee residents to support Gov. Bill Haslam’s IMPROVE Act, also known as the Tax Cut Act.

The radio advertising will run April 13 through 21 and will focus on the Chattanooga, Jackson, Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville and Tri-Cities markets. The ads will also be available on the Transportation Coalition of Tennessee’s website, (HERE).

The advertisements, dubbed the “It’s Smart” series, focus on the same theme: It’s smart to support better roads, safe bridges AND tax cuts.

“Tennessee is currently $10.5 billion behind in transportation infrastructure projects. The governor’s proposal funds these needs while at the same time providing the largest tax cut in the history of the state,” said Susie Alcorn, executive director for the Tennessee Infrastructure Alliance. “The IMPROVE Act is the responsible way to fix our state’s outdated roads and bridges.”

 The IMPROVE Act creates a dedicated funding source for repairs and projects across all 95 counties of Tennessee by raising fuel taxes and vehicle registration fees while providing a tax cut in the food, business and Hall income taxes.

 The IMPROVE Act is currently making its way through both houses of the state legislature with the goal of arriving on the floor of the General Assembly for a full vote before the legislative session ends.

About the Transportation Coalition of Tennessee

The Transportation Coalition of Tennessee was created to educate the public and state legislators as it seeks an increase of and reform in Tennessee’s transportation fees. The coalition aims to recruit other interested parties to join in seeking a comprehensive funding solution to maintain and expand Tennessee’s critical transportation system.

Participants in the Transportation Coalition of Tennessee include businesses, citizens, community leaders, public officials and organizations that are interested in continuing Tennessee’s transportation infrastructure for the long haul.

The Transportation Coalition steering committee includes representatives from the Tennessee Infrastructure Alliance, Auto Club Group/AAA Tennessee, Tennessee Public Transportation Association, Tennessee Trucking Association, Tennessee County Highway Officials Association, Tennessee Municipal League, Tennessee City Management Association, American Council of Engineering Companies of Tennessee and Tennessee Road Builders Association.

Tennessee is a pay-as-you-go state, with transportation projects funded primarily by state and federal fuel tax revenues. The dollars are apportioned for state and local projects, which include maintenance, repair and new construction.

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