FRANKFORT, Ky. — Two leading groups representing the interests of cities and counties say raising the gas tax is critical to repairing Kentucky’s roads and bridges.
The Kentucky League of Cities and the Kentucky Association of Counties both spoke to the Interim Committee on Local Government Tuesday, and the top priority for both groups is infrastructure.
“In our members poll, a majority of them told us that more than 40% of the county roads are in need of moderate to significant repair and a quarter of our members said that more than 60% of their roads needed repair,” KACo President and Madison County Judge-Executive Reagan Taylor said.
89% of KACo members who responded to a recent poll favor some form of gas tax increase: the largest share, 30%, coalesced behind a 10-to-14 cent per gallon increase.
Kentucky last increased the gas tax in 2015, and the Kentucky League of Cities points out 23 other states have increased their gas taxes since then, including every one of Kentucky’s neighbors except for Missouri.
Coincidentally, gas tax revenue fell off after 2015, making it even more difficult to address road issues.
We must have reliable and safe streets and bridges; the issue is funding,” KLC President and London Mayor Troy Rudder said. “We simply do not have enough money to take care of all the transportation needs we have.”
This isn’t the first time lawmakers have discussed raising the gas tax: a bipartisan group of House lawmakers proposed a nearly nine cent per gallon increase in the last session, but that proposal never received a vote.