Hancock defends plan to stabilize Kentucky motor fuel user fee

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Secretary Mike Hancock wrote an opinion piece in the capital city’s newspaper last month to strike back against a letter-writer who criticized a bill aimed at stabilizing fuel user fees and highway revenue.

The bill awaits action in the state’s legislature to lock in the state’s percentage fuel fee at current level before a reset on April 1 could further drain revenue to fund road improvements. The fuel fee fell 4.3 cents in January because of lower gasoline prices. Unless lawmakers act on the bill, the fee could fall a total of 9.4 cents after April’s reset.

Hancock has said the drop in fuel fees would result in a budget shortfall of $56.4 million this year and another $194 million next year. Since current law allows the trigger price for tax purposes to rise no more than 10 percent a year, even a price rebound at the pump would not restore the lost funds, he said.

Separately, the chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee warned that unless the legislature changes the floor price in current law to stabilize it, the road fund could lose a third of its projected revenue.

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Kentucky Transportation Cabinet 200 Mero St Frankfort, KY 40601

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