Councilman to propose one cent per gallon gas tax

(WMC-TV) - Memphis City Councilman Edmund Ford, Jr. wants to raise gas prices by one cent per gallon.

Ford plans to introduce his proposal to the Memphis City Council's budget committee Tuesday.

Ford's idea behind the tax is to generate $3 million to help pay for public transportation.  He said that is about 15 percent of the total transportation operating costs.

The proposal is getting mixed reactions from drivers.  Some said they disagree with the increase since gas prices are high enough, while others said one cent per gallon will not hurt.

The real test will begin Tuesday.  If the gas tax proposal makes it out of committee, the full council will hear their first reading on July 3.

If it makes it through all of the readings, the issue would be put to voters in the form of a referendum on the November ballot.

Other items on the council's agenda include discussions on pension benefits for retirees, and presentations of the Overton Square master plan and the National Mortgage Settlement, which will bring millions of dollars in relief to Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas residents.

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