In Your Corner: What you need to know about the IMPROVE Act

JOHNSON CITY, TN (WJHL) – It’s being called the largest tax cut in Tennessee history and it begins Saturday.

But also on Saturday, you can expect to pay more at the pump and when you get your tags on your car renewed.

However, your grocery tax will go down. It’s all part of Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam’s IMPROVE Act.

Maria Lobato lives in Mountain City. She is not excited to hear gas prices will go up on July 1.

“I think it’s crazy. We finally get to fill up for under 50 bucks and now it’s going to change again right in time for the holidays,” she said.

It creates a long-term dedicated funding source to fix nearly 1,000 of the state’s roads and bridges. On July 1, gas prices will increase 4 cents. So drivers in Tennessee will now pay 24 cents state tax on the gallon in 2017.

Next year it will go up to 25 cents and up to 26 cents in 2019.

Washington County Tennessee County Clerk, Kathy Storey, says registration for your tags will now be $29 instead of $24.

“Most every vehicle that we are familiar with will go up $5,” Storey said.

Some counties also have an additional wheel tax on top of that. But the Governor says people will save more at the grocery store than what they will pay at the pump.

The IMPROVE Act will reduce the tax rate on food and food ingredients from 5% to 4%.

According to the Transportation Coalition of Tennessee, the average family spends $163.90 at the grocery store per week.

The tax savings from the IMPROVE Act will save families $1.64 per week, making that an $85.22 annual savings at the grocery store.

This news left Lobato with mixed reactions.

“Well, you’ve got to get to the grocery store. so you’re going to need gas in the car. But I think it’s a good balance as long as our groceries stay the same, not go anywhere. If they’re going down, awesome. Awesome!,” Lobato said.

For more information on the IMPROVE Act click here.

See also: What you should know: 133 new laws take effect July 1 in Tennessee

Copyright 2017 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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