Chattanooga representative supports Tennessee gas tax

Democrat Yusuf Hakeem says issue is nonpartisan; tax break can help those financially struggling

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) — Georgia commuters’ wallets have begun to breathe easier at the pump over the past few days.

To celebrate, one couple hit the road with not one but two vehicles.

“The price coming down a little bit has kind of made things easier on us and made this little trip that we’re doing a lot more fun for both of us,” said Georgia resident Brandon Knapp.

In Tennessee, there have been proposals, but no tax break.

Chattanooga Representative Yusuf Hakeem says with “billions in the bank,” there’s no reason to not grant residents some relief at the pump.

“People are already trying to recover from the pandemic and now to put this on us, this gas tax, is unnecessary,” Hakeem said. “I think it would benefit more the citizens of Tennessee and the governor to go ahead and put that moratorium in place for at least 90 days.”

Cleveland Representative Dan Howell opposes the “unenforceable” tax cut, stating it “would defund essential revenue that pays state infrastructure” and could “make inflation worse” by disrupting supply and demand.

He also added there’s “no guarantee any savings would be passed on” by gas station owners.

Hakeem still disagrees.

“If for some reason, private owners of gas stations were to raise their price of gas, we will put something in place for those persons who gauge the average citizen,” Hakeem said.

Hakeem believes this is an issue that both state Republicans and Democrats can stand behind.

Some Tennesseeans are struggling, and he believes this can help.

“This is one instance where we can show the public that we’re willing to use their money on their behalf and lower these taxes,” Hakeem said.

Hakeem further says it’s “imperative that the citizen feels like government has their best interest in heart.”

He also believes failure to act on this matter by Governor Bill Lee would “not bode well for him in the eyes of the public.”

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