In just a little over a week, lawmakers across the state will join together for the first legislative session of 2016.
As they make the drive to Nashville, one big concern, is the roads they take to get there. Over the years, vehicles have become more fuel efficient and construction costs have risen creating a growing problem.
A 2015 transportation report said that basically the state will not have enough money to maintain the roads we use now. Lawmakers say it is time to find a solution.
"It's an economic issue, it's an everyday quality of life issue," said Senator Richard Briggs.
According to Governor Bill Haslam, Tennessee has a multi-billion dollar backlog of highway projects spread across the state.
RELATED: Haslam talks transportation challenges for the state
"When you consider the fact that TDOT's budget this last year was $1.8 billion dollars, that's just to maintain what we have, how do we move forward with getting some of those projects done?" said Eddie Smith, a state representative.
Lawmakers have discussed creating toll roads, borrowing money, or using bonds to pay for the upgrades.
"Oregon has a little odometer where you put it on your car and it sends to a satellite how many miles you drive, I personally don't like that because it's too complicated I believe in keeping it simple," said Briggs.
The option that's received the most attention is increasing the gas tax.
"None of us like taxes where you pay your money and it goes into a black hole" explained Briggs.
"We don't get to enjoy some of the money we pay, but the road tax if it comes to that, I believe is different because it's something that improves our quality of life."
Though undecided on his stance, Senator Briggs believes we should view a gas tax differently than other taxes, because we will directly see the benefits.
Tennessee has not had a gas tax increase since 1989. Briggs, Smith and other lawmakers all agree on the problem, but it's the solution that brings a challenge this year.
"Tennessee right now has the second or third best roads in the country and we don't want to lose that distinction," said Smith.
The Tennessee legislature reconvenes in Nashville on January 12.