Few support gas tax relief in state

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Governor Bredesen and some state lawmakers say they are not seeking to cut the state's gas tax to reduce the burden on Tennessee drivers.

Administration spokeswoman Lydia Lenker said the governor is concerned about the impact of rising fuel prices, but is working with the Democratic Governors Association to ask the president to step in.

Many lawmakers cite problems with cutting the 21-point-four cent-per-gallon tax, despite the immediate benefit to consumers.

State Senate Transportation Committee Chairman Mark Norris said the issue is a two-edged sword.

The Barlett Republican said the state needs the tax money to support infrastructure needs.

The tax is a major source of revenue for the Department of Transportation and highway funds.

Still, some lawmakers support a freeze on taxes after many complaints about skyrocketing prices.

Senator Ward Crutchfield, a Chattanooga Democrat, said he would like to see the legislature discuss a moratorium.

But Crutchfield, who is member of the Senate Transportation Committee, said such a measure would be hard to pass without the governor's support.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)