State Politics

Mar 13, 2014 6:13 AM

Full House OKs Bill That Would Raise Motor Fuels Tax

FRANKFORT (AP) - A divided Kentucky House passed a revenue bill Wednesday that would raise the state's motor fuels tax to supply more money for road projects, drawing objections from Republicans who signaled it could resurface as a campaign issue in the fall.

The measure - a component to balancing the state budget - deals with a number of revenue matters, but the debate focused on the gas tax.

The bill would raise the tax at the pump by 1.5 cents a gallon. The current gas tax is 30.8 cents per gallon, which automatically took effect at the start of 2014. The increase would restore the tax to the level in place at the end of 2013, less than three months ago.

The state's gas tax is tied to the average wholesale price of motor fuels, allowing it to shift up or down or stay unchanged every three months.

House GOP Floor Leader Jeff Hoover said Kentuckians have paid a higher state gas tax for years as wholesale fuel prices rose.

"We told the people of Kentucky that if the wholesale price went up and the state taxes went up, they went up," Hoover said. "But we also assured them ... that when they went down, they would just go down.


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