Haslam Signs IMPROVE Act

Monday, June 05, 2017 | 9:31am

Legislation enacts the largest tax cut in state history with statewide transportation plan

CHATTANOOGA – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today in Chattanooga held the first ceremonial signing for the IMPROVE Act, “Improving Manufacturing, Public Roads and Opportunities for a Vibrant Economy,” which enacts the largest tax cut in state history while delivering a safe, reliable and debt-free transportation network.

“The IMPROVE Act puts money back in the pockets of all Tennesseans and has already helped us attract manufacturing jobs to Tennessee – all while putting us on the path to deliver nearly 1,000 road and bridge projects across the state,” Haslam said. “The Tennessee we can be provides not only access to opportunity but the tools to be successful. Good roads that take you to good jobs. IMPROVE is a conservative and responsible approach to build and sustain the state’s economic growth and competitiveness for the next generation of Tennesseans.”

Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville) and Reps. Barry Doss (R-Leoma) and Bill Dunn (R-Knoxville) carried the legislation through the legislative process. Ceremonial signings will also be conducted today in Nashville and Union City.

When fully implemented, IMPROVE cuts more than $500 million in taxes annually and brings the total amount of tax cuts during the Haslam administration to more than $800 million.

In addition 962 road and bridge projects across all 95 counties will be delivered as part of IMPROVE through the user-based approach of raising the gas tax by six cents and diesel tax by 10 cents over the next three years. It also increases the user fee for electric vehicle owners and allows local voters, through a referendum, in the state’s largest counties and its four largest cities to impose a surcharge on taxes they already collect to be dedicated to transit projects.

The legislation will mean an additional $70 million annually for counties and $35 million for cities. Click here for additional information the IMPROVE Act and transportation projects.

The tax cuts include a 20 percent decrease – $125 million – in the sales tax on groceries and a $113 million reduction in business taxes on manufacturers. Nokian Tyres will build a new tire manufacturing facility in Dayton, investing $360 million in the facility and creating at least 400 new jobs, and passage of the IMPROVE Act played a critical role in attracting Nokian Tyres to Tennessee. The legislation also sets a schedule to eliminate the Hall income tax by 2022.