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'Kentuckians cannot afford to pay more.' Beshear acts to stop gas tax hike

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David Zalubowski/AP
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AP
A motorist dispenses gasoline from a pump at a Shell station, Saturday, May 28, 2022, in Commerce City, Colo. Experts are expecting a flush of travelers at airports and on the nation's byways during the long Memorial Day weekend, which marks the start of the summer travel season, in spite of high fuel costs. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

If allowed to go forward, the increase would take the gas tax from 26 to 28 cents at a time when prices at the pump are soaring to record levels. Beshear says Kentuckians can’t afford the increase and he’s trying to ease the burden in the coming months.

"The timing we've laid out means we're trying to get this to the next session of the General Assembly, where they can take a look and at that point it will be up to them from a policymaking standpoint," the governor told reporters Thursday.

Increases in the gas tax are set by statute and the money from the tax is funneled into the Road Fund. Beshear wants to use dollars from the upcoming General Fund budget surplus to offset losses from the gas tax freeze.

Locking in the rate will save Kentuckians an estimated $35.4 million through mid-January of 2023, the governor said.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.