Kentucky Gov. Beshear files emergency regulation to stop rise in state gas tax

Kentucky Gov. Beshear files emergency regulation to stop rise in state gas tax
Published: Jun. 3, 2022 at 6:32 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) - As gas prices continue to soar, drivers are looking for some relief.

Douglas Cole said it now takes considerably more money to fill up his tank.

“It takes about $73 to fill it up now. It used to be something less than, a good bit in fact,” Cole said.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear filed an emergency regulation to freeze the state gas tax and to prevent a 2-cent increase per gallon that would have taken effect July 1.

“Kentuckians cannot afford to pay more, and I am committed to doing everything I can to help keep more dollars in people’s pockets,” Beshear said. “This law was never intended to hurt Kentuckians during tough times, but with rising prices and inflation, this increase would have a negative impact on our families and it is time to take action.”

The state gas tax is set by statute, both in its rate and how it is calculated. The current rate of 26 cents was set to increase under a trigger, resulting in a price hike on both regular and diesel fuel.

“It seems like everybody is trying to help where they can. I just hope those prices will go down,” Cole said.

The funds collected through the state gas tax contribute to the Road Fund, which year to date is up 2.3%. During the first seven months of the fiscal year, this action will reduce the budgeted Road Fund revenues by 1.6%. To make up for the lost road fund revenues, Gov. Beshear will propose using funds from the upcoming General Fund budget surplus. The budget for next year also includes a 21% increase in transportation infrastructure dollars from the federal government.

“This action to provide relief to Kentuckians will have no material impact on the transportation budget and projects,” Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Secretary Jim Gray said. “All projects will move forward.”

The governor also sent a letter to Attorney General Daniel Cameron on Friday, asking for advice on whether he should declare a state of emergency in order to activate the price gouging statute and further protect Kentuckians.

WSAZ reached out to officials in Ohio and West Virginia to see if similar plans were in place.

A spokesperson for Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said there are no plans at this time.

WSAZ had not heard back from West Virginia officials.

Copyright 2022 WSAZ. All rights reserved.