Workable gas tax solution a key to transportation budget

02/12/2018 04:46 PM

FRANKFORT – House Budget Review Subcommittee on Transportation chair Rep. Sal Santoro, R-Union, says the biggest priority in crafting a road plan this session is finding a workable gas tax plan which can effectively fund many of the road projects.

The money collected from the gas tax has dropped in recent years with the fall in gas prices and better mileage in newer cars which has led to a shortfall which was helped recently with only the increased number of vehicles bought in the state.

“If it wasn’t for all of the motor vehicles bought in the past year, we would have been in desperate need of more funding,” Santoro said. “We were very fortunate that that happened so we were able to maintain our transportation department, because through the constitution, they are only using road money for transportation.”

Santoro believes that the high volume of cars bought in the state which helped this past year will not continue, as industry experts have predicted a leveling off period of vehicle sales.

Santoro points to specific vehicles which are more heavily in use which have led to a drop in gas usage which, in turn, has led to the shortfall in collected gas tax funds.

“The CAFE cars are 40 miles a gallon,” Santoro said. “We are looking to make some changes this session, I don’t know if it’s going to be tax reform or a stand alone bill, but we are going to start identifying those areas and we are going to try and fix these big problems.”

Santoro said it will be up to the working group to come up with a workable plan to better fund transportation needs in the commonwealth.

“We’re going to have recommendations to our leadership, on both parties, and then we’re going to march down to the Senate and see if they can come to a conclusion on what are problems are and maybe we can fix them,” Santoro said.

Don Weber

Don Weber is a Video Journalist for Spectrum News and covers politics and education on Pure Politics, Kentucky’s only nightly program dedicated to state politics. Don is a lifelong Kentuckian and a graduate of Northern Kentucky University. He spent many years covering sports in the Northern Kentucky area before shifting primarily to politics. You can watch Don’s work weeknights at 7:00 and 11:30 on Pure Politics, available exclusively on Spectrum News, HD Channels 403 and 715. If you have a story idea you can reach Don at



  • Honest Parley wrote on February 13, 2018 10:02 AM :

    The Transportation Cabinet is devoid of any substantive leadership on this and most all other issues. The nursery school in the Secretary’s office conducts itself with a “me first” mentality, and the chief nursery school attendant, aka the Secretary of Transportation, walks in fear of upsetting his pupils or the most troublesome pupil of all, the state’s Chief Executive. Secretary Soft and Chewy spent his entire corporate career in a regulated monopoly, so he can’t be blamed for lacking courage, conviction and a willingness to confront the self-serving status quo. Who needs those when your thinking has been molded free from any sort of competition and your primary duty is to not shake the apple cart?

    There are some fine people in the Transportation Cabinet, but current leadership will not provide what the state needs in terms of revenue recommendations for our sorely depleted Road Fund. Current leadership is afraid of their own shadows, and even more so of Governor Angry. The irony is that Governor A allows his cabinet secretaries to free lance, disconnected from any cohesive strategic agenda to move Kentucky forward, primarily because he and his Brick Man simply do not understand state government.

    So Rep. Santoro will have to take the lead here. Secretary Soft and Chewy and Governor Angry won’t be providing any cover on this all-important issue. One recoils at the thought of confrontation while the other lives in a delusional world in which he becomes President of the United States someday.

  • Heza Putz wrote on February 13, 2018 09:40 PM :

    Kentucky sucks in far too many metrics by which states are judged, but our roads have always punched WAAAAY above the weight when compared to other states. Kentucky has better roads than ANY of our border states and that’s because of the Asphalt Mafia which prevailed in Kentucky for decades. Right, Leonard?

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