Gas prices in Kentucky rise, thanks to higher gas tax - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Gas prices in Kentucky rise, thanks to higher gas tax

The price at Kentucky gas pumps goes up Tuesday, and higher oil prices have nothing to do with it.

Like many drivers, Art Morris is counting his miles per gallon and his pennies these days:  "My Jag gets 19 to the gallon.  I've got an 85 Fiero that gets 20 miles to the gallon."

Each gallon of gas in Kentucky will cost Morris and others another one and a half cents in state gas tax starting Tuesday.  It's a bump on top of $4.29 for regular unleaded at most Louisville stations.

Chuck Wolfe with the Kentucky Transporation Cabinet explains, "Every penny in fuels tax equals about $31 and a half million."

The state would like to earn even more than that to shore up its $500 million road fund, which is running a bit short.  That's becuase drivers are driving less and buying less gas.

The road fund pays for road construction.  About half the money comes from the state gas tax; the other half comes from the federal government.  State law requires the increase as gas prices go up.

Wolfe says, "And consumption has been declining.  It's something that people will watch with interest, and we may learn whether $4-a-gallon gas was really the tipping point at which people began seriously to alter their driving patterns.

The state likely won't think about another gas tax increase until next year.

It has raised it every July 1st for the last five years, usually by a few pennies at most.  It also comes as oil prices hit yet another new record -- $143 a barrel.

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