FRANKFORT Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear’s administration filed an emergency regulation to freeze the state gas tax Thursday. The emergency filing will prevent a two-cent increase per gallon of gas scheduled to take effect July first.
“This law was never intended to hurt Kentuckians during tough times,” Beshear said, “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 rate and how it is calculated is set by statute. The current rate of 26 cents was set to increase resulting in a price hike on both regular and diesel fuel.
The funds collected through the state gas tax contribute to the to the state’s road fund.
According to a release from the Beshear’s Office, over the first seven months of the fiscal year, the tax freeze will reduce the budgeted road fund revenues by 1.6%. Governor Beshear plans to propose using funds from the upcoming general fund budget surplus to make up for the lost road fund revenue. Moreover, 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. “All projects will move forward.”
The Governor also sent a letter to Attorney General Daniel Cameron asking for advice on whether he should declare a state of emergency to activate the price gouging statute and further protect Kentuckians.
Beshear signed an executive order in February that halted an increase in vehicle property taxes caused by soaring used car values and proposed a one percent state sales tax cut that the state legislature did not act on. He also wrote a letter to federal leadership, calling on them to suspend the federal gas tax until the end of the year.