KENTUCKY — Like clockwork, talk of certain taxes resurfaces in Kentucky. In the legislature, increasing the gas tax is included here. At least one new bill is filed on the topic, with Tuesday being the deadline to file this session.
What You Need To Know
- Louisville business community pushes for raise to gas tax
- Heavily trafficked roads, such as River Road in Louisville, are examples of those that could benefit from a hike in fees
- Some drivers say the key is for at least a 10 CPG (cent per gallon) hike
- House BR 508 would set the baseline tax to 24.6 CPG, and subject that to an annual adjustment of as much as 10%
The Louisville business community is joining in on the conversation, pushing legislators to both raise the tax and realign the process in which the revenue is allocated to cities and counties to pay for road repairs.
Heavily trafficked roads, such as River Road in Louisville, are examples of those that could benefit from a hike in fees. The road floods heavily but has been years without fixes like widening and elevating.
Some drivers say the key is for at least a 10 CPG (cent per gallon) hike.
"It's a basic fundamental part of infrastructure that is needed for economic development. It's needed for quality of life," says J.D. Chaney, with the Kentucky League Cities (KLC). "It's one of the essential services that cities provide, and one of the main reasons that they exist."
Chaney is one of those pushing lawmakers to both increase tax, "10 cents at least," and give more of the funds raised to cities.
Those like Greater Louisville, Inc. (GLI) say the city doesn't repair its roads as much as desired. That's one reason the chamber of commerce and its members say a hike in fees could benefit businesses.
"We are the nation's logistics hub, and we rely heavily on a reliable network of roads and bridges, and it's necessary that we really try to maintain that infrastructure," GLI President & CEO Sarah Davasher-Wisdom said. It's one of the chamber's legislative priorities this year.
Members include Chris Dickinson, who tells Spectrum News 1, "I've seen a deterioration in our road conditions."
Dickinson and his company Civil Design, Inc. are members of the chamber.
"It's rough traveling the interstates and the local roads with the lack of improvements," he said. "I know taxes aren't fun. But I think an increase in our gas funding, gas tax is necessary for us."
"I realize that dollars are scarce, but we need to take care of our assets," he added.
There's been no change in the 26 CPG rate for Kentucky in several years. There is one new bill recently filed, on Thursday night, on the topic. House Bill 508 would set the baseline tax to 24.6 CPG, and subject that to an annual adjustment of as much as 10%.
The shortened session in Frankfort ends next month.