- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 4, 2015

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - House Speaker Beth Harwell says that Tennessee lawmakers are unlikely to take up a gas tax increase during this year’s legislative session.

Speaking to a joint conference by the National Federation of Independent Business and the Tennessee Grocers and Convenience Store Association on Tuesday, Harwell said lawmakers are interested in discussing ways to “broaden the base” of transportation funding to make up for losses from vehicles with better fuel mileage and electric cars.

But the Nashville Republican said she doesn’t expect an increase to be enacted this year.

A recent report from the state comptroller’s office found Tennessee’s fuel taxes are insufficient to maintain existing infrastructure and meet long-term transportation needs. The state’s 21.4-cents-per-gallon gas tax hasn’t been raised since 1989.

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