Knoxville — On this Driving You Crazy Monday, prices are dropping at the pumps across the country.
But they'll stay a little higher in Tennessee due to a bill signed into law last year.
In April 2017, Tennessee's gas tax increased when Governor Bill Haslam signed the IMPROVE Act into law.
And in this week’s Driving You Crazy story, we're taking a closer look at how state agencies are now spending your tax dollars from the pump.
The increase was Tennessee's first since 1989.
"The big thing from the IMPROVE Act is that this is not only going to have an impact in East Tennessee, but across the state," Tennessee Department of Transportation spokesperson Mark Nagi said.
The tax adds six cents per gallon for regular gas and 10 cents per gallon for diesel incrementally over three years.
Governor Bill Haslam signed the bill into law in April 2017. In the law's first year, the Department of Transportation received millions of dollars for statewide projects.
TDOT received nearly $84 million from gasoline sales and $32 million from motor fuel sales. The Improve Act also brought in almost $39 million from motor vehicle registrations.
“There's close to 1,000 projects that are going to be funded much quicker in all 95 counties because of the passage of the IMPROVE Act,” Nagi said.
But what progress can we see on the ground from the tax hike?
In the first year of the IMPROVE Act, TDOT authorized funds and began working on 377 of the 962 projects identified in the original legislation. That includes engineering, utility and construction projects in 85 of Tennessee's 95 counties.
“These projects should all be either under contract, under construction, or completed in the next 12 years,” Nagi said.
Nagi explained, though, that depending on where you live you may not see much action on your roadways at the moment.
“I think there's a misconception of people saying, "I don't see any work done over here,'" he said. "Everything happens on a schedule.”
And even with more funds in the place, Nagi said, it will still take time to complete each project.
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