Kentucky Gas Tax Going Up Again Next Month

Jun 14, 2012

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Gas prices are getting ready to go up again in Kentucky.

On July 1, the state's gas tax will increase 2.1 cents per gallon. That means motorists will be paying nearly 30 cents in state taxes for each gallon they purchase. The increase is automatic because Kentucky's tax is tied to the average cost of wholesale gas, which has been rising.

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet spokesman Chuck Wolfe told The Courier-Journal that the increase is expected to generate about $57 million next year for the state Road Fund.

The newspaper reports that the state's gas tax has increased by more than 80 percent since 2003, when each gallon was taxed 16.4 cents.

When added to the federal tax of 18.4 cents per gallon, motorists in Kentucky pay a total tax of 48.3 cents for each gallon of gas purchased.

Kim Aycock, who works for Kentucky Shakespeare in the Park, said it already costs about $60 to fill up each van owned by the company.

"Two more cents hurts," she said at a Louisville gas station.

House Transportation Committee Chairman Hubert Collins, D-Wittensville, said he thinks the increase will go mostly unnoticed due to already fluctuating gas prices.

"I saw gas as low as $3.17 a gallon last week . and as high as $3.59 this week," he said.

Others say maybe it's time to talk about change.

"Anytime the tax goes up, it's a burden on everybody, especially when times are tough like they are now," said state Rep. Jim DeCesare, R-Bowling Green. "This tax is also hard to understand. It's something I believe we need to discuss."

Lawmakers decided to make the tax dependent on the wholesale price of gas in 1980 to assure funding for needed road work.

The last increase of 1.9 cents per gallon took effect last on July 1, 2011.