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Transportation advocacy group seeing the need for modified funding support for Kentucky highway projects

Kentuckians for Better Transportation Director Jennifer Kirchner
Kentuckians for Better Transportation Director Jennifer Kirchner

Several bills given committee consideration in Frankfort this legislative session carry a transportation connection. There are also transportation budget issues. One ongoing question focuses on how to support new pavement and maintenance in a time of electric vehicles. Kentuckians for Better Transportation Director Jennifer Kirchner says a fee schedule may be the ultimate answer.

“I don’t care if you charged at home. You may have hydrogen powering your car. You may have a hybrid. Whatever it is the fact is you’re using the road. So we need a user fee to help pay for that. So, we really would like to get to a miles-driven system,” said Kircher.

For decades, the major state source of funding to build and maintain roads has been the gas tax. Kirchner estimates such a change in Kentucky could be close to a decade away. She said one-day a sustainable funding method will hopefully be adopted.

“We love capital investments cause they’re needed, but really we want recurring funding mechanisms because that’s what sustainability looks like. We don’t have to keep coming back to the General Assembly asking for another allocation because we’ve fallen behind,” said Kirchner.

Currently, electric vehicle owners face an annual ownership fee and there are more charges for EV charging station owners and lessees.

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Stu has been reporting for WEKU for more than 35 years. His primary beat is Lexington/Fayette government.
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