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State Capitol

Gas Tax Increase Proposal Fails To Get Attention in 2021 Legislative Session

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The state transportation budget didn’t receive the attention it sometimes does during the just completed general assembly session.  The road plan for laying new pavement across the Commonwealth was decided last year.  Senate Transportation Committee Chair Jimmy Higdon says the legislature approved a continuation budget.  

It’s not to say there aren’t many new construction and maintenance projects still needing attention.  That includes the Brent Spence Bridge Project in northern Kentucky.  Higdon says there’s still lots of details to work out. “We have to find a path forward on that.  Is federal stimulus dollars, is tolling part of it?  You know, how do we build that bridge and what portion does Kentucky pay and what portion does our partners in Ohio pay?” asked Higdon.

President Biden has proposed a two trillion-dollar infrastructure program.  Higdon says Kentucky can, quote, “use every penny that they send to us.”    

The chair of the Kentucky Senate Transportation Committee said raising the state’s gas tax got consideration during the 2021 General Assembly session.  But, Higdon says,there were not enough votes to get it passed.  The Lebanon senator says today’s tax on motor fuels is virtually the same as that paid by motorists a decade ago.

Higdon said there were various reasons given for not acting on any gas tax increase.  He said that included economic concerns related to the current pandemic and not knowing how a federal infrastructure program, if passed, could help address Kentucky’s highway needs.

Here's more with Kentucky Senator and Transportation Committee Chair Jimmy Higdon:

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