By now it’s cliche to say that 2020 was a rough year–physically, emotionally, and economically. That’s why it makes perfect sense to increase taxes. Catch my sarcasm–what is this, Robin Hood’s England? 

KY Representative Sal Santoro has been trying to pass legislation to increase the tax on gas for Kentuckians. This tax would not only make road travel more costly, it would also penalize people who drive non-hybrid vehicles (which consume less gas) to pay a flat fee–regardless of how much they drive. Instead of auditing the current KY transportation budget to cut spending on ventures better funded by the private sector, the legislature’s solution is to increase the amount that you and I pay. And, with their constituents’ credit card in hand, they spare no expense.

As The Lane Report commented, “The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet awarded ten single bid contracts in December totaling $11,362,826. KYTC rejected 18 other attempts by Kentucky’s highway industry to secure single bid awards during the latest bid cycle.”

This tax will have the greatest impact on workers who don’t have the luxury of working from home. According to Michael Conway of Americans for Prosperity-Kentucky, gas taxes put lower-income families at a disadvantage since they tend to spend more on transportation. If we want to help Kentucky recover after a devastating year, raising taxes is not the answer. Instead of increasing the load on already-burdened consumers, the state legislature should do some housecleaning of its own. Call your representative and tell them to #AuditKYTC and put our money to better use!


Text of the proposed bill:

“create a new section of KRS Chapter 186 to establish a base highway user fee for nonhybrid electric vehicles of $200; require the fee to be adjusted with any increase or decrease in the gasoline tax under Section 3 of the Act; establish an annual highway preservation fee of $5-$40 on all noncommercial vehicles based on the EPA mileage rating of the make model and year of the vehicle”

“Amend KRS 138.220 to set a single excise tax on gasoline and special fuels; set initial base rate at 34.4 cents per gallon (cpg); subject tax to annual adjustment; eliminate references to taxation on the average wholesale price of gasoline and the supplemental tax on gasoline and special fuels;”