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Gov. Beshear stops state gas tax hike as measure to curb inflation

Beshear
Posted at 8:10 AM, Jun 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-02 12:56:25-04

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — Gov. Andy Beshear’s administration filed an emergency regulation to freeze the state gas tax and prevent a $0.02 increase per gallon that would have taken effect July 1.

The state gas tax is set by statute—both in its rate and how it is calculated. The current rate of $0.26 was set to increase under a trigger, resulting in a price hike on both regular and diesel fuel.

Beshear also sent a letter to Attorney General Daniel Cameron asking for advice on whether he should declare a state of emergency in order to activate the price gouging statute and further protect Kentuckians.

Beshear's decision to stop the state gas tax hike comes as an effort to provide relief to Kentuckians as fuel prices continue to rise.

Of course, inflation is not only impacting fuel, but also the cost of rent and food is also increasing. LEX 18 spoke with a small business owner Wednesday about the record-high price of gasoline.

The White House says inflation is a top priority. A new Gallup poll shows 46% of Americans see the current U.S. economy as "poor."

Along with this most recent step, Beshear says he has taken other steps to alleviate some stress of this 40-year-high inflation. He signed an executive order in February to stop an increase in vehicle property taxes, which will stay in effect for two years. Those rates rose by nearly 40% in Kentucky last year.

Beshear also proposed a 1% states sales tax cut which lawmakers did not pass this year. But the Republican-controlled legislature did pass a bill to lower income tax. He also called on federal leaders to suspend the federal gas tax until the end of the year.