Delivery businesses prepare for increase due to Haslam’s gas tax plan

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Food delivery services, trucking companies, florists and other businesses that rely on vehicle transportation are preparing for Governor Bill Haslam’s plan to boost transportation funding in Tennessee.

While the increase might just a few cents per gallon, some Knoxville businesses owners say  there will be an impact. It’s still unclear as to how much, but these businesses say it’s part of delivery fees.

Previous story: Haslam proposes 7 cent increase to Tennessee gas tax

“You have to pay your expenses and your gas and pay your employees to drive. Delivery fees might sound high to consumers, but it’s not enough.” said Gary Beach, owner of West Knoxville Florist.

Beach has owned his business for 45 years. He says he’s seen gas prices go up and down, but people will react accordingly as to what they can afford.

“It’s going to be harder on people, but there are benefits if the grocery store tax goes down.” said Beach, referencing Haslam’s proposal to cut sales tax on groceries by half a percent.

“The less somebody has affects what they bring in, which affects how much they spend on a luxury like takeout.” said Tim O’Donnell, director of operations at Takeout Central.

Takeout Central has 16 contracted drivers who pay for gas out of their own pockets.

“They make their money through delivery fees and tips. There’s no increase in that when gas prices go up.” said O’Donnell.

The proposal will go into effect, if passed, July 1, 2017.

 

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