By Don Jones
On July 1st, 133 new laws took effect across the state of Tennessee. Many of these new laws will directly affect a great majority of citizens here in Lewis County.
The law that has drawn the most attention is the implementation of the “Improving Manufacturing, Public Roads and Opportunities for a Vibrant Economy (IMPROVE) Act” which cuts taxes on food, but raises prices on gas and vehicle registration in order to pay for road and bridge funding.
The state’s tax on gasoline will increase by six cents over the next three years. It will go from 20 cents to 24 cents this year, 24 cents to 25 cents on July 1, 2018 and 25 cents to 26 cents on July 1, 2019. In addition, the diesel tax will increase by 10 cents and compressed natural gas and liquefied gas will increase by eight cents over the next three years.
The trade off for the increase in fuel tax which kicked in on July 1, is that the sales tax on food has been cut from five percent to four percent.
The cost to register a vehicle in Tennessee will also increase, going up by $5 for passenger motor vehicles, $10 for buses and taxis and $20 for semis and tractor trailers. Electric vehicles will have an additional $100 registration fee.