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State Capitol

Veteran Central Kentucky Senator Says Gas Tax Increase Unlikely

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Senator Tom Buford estimates leaders of both houses of the Kentucky legislature are more than 90% complete in developing a new one-year state budget.

The first three days of this week have been set aside for a conference committee on the 20 billion dollar budget.  Buford expects the final budget passed to be about 85% on target with what Governor Beshear recommended in state spending. “And that’s typical.  I’ve been there 30 years, Democrats Republicans, both sides have controlled it off and on, and that’s very similar.  The governor doesn’t get all he wants, but he gets a lot.  And much of what the governor wants has to be in there.  It’s just necessary government spending,” said Buford. 

Regarding details of the state budget, Buford said the final document could include a slight increase in funding, above the governor’s recommendation, for higher education along with secondary and elementary education. 

The Jessamine County lawmaker says raising the gas tax to support roadway projects has once again been discussed.  Although there has been some talk of a dime increase, Buford doesn’t see enough support for even a nickel increase.  Instead, Buford said the focus may turn to electric vehicles where a $150 fee could be established at the time of license tag renewal. 

Here's an extended conversation with Central Kentucky Senator Tom Buford:

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