Senate committee passes road plan, saves vote on tax freeze until later

The Senate Transportation Committee voted this afternoon to send the proposed six-year road plan to the full chamber, but delayed action on a proposal to freeze the state’s motor fuels tax.

House Bill 330, which lays out transportation spending for this fiscal year and the next, along with House Joint Resolution 105, which sets project funding for the last four years of the six-year plan, both passed the committee without opposition.

An expected vote on House Bill 374, which would stop an scheduled 4-cent drop in the motor fuels tax next month, won’t come until later today or tomorrow.

Committee Chairman Sen. Ernie Harris, a Crestwood Republican, said he didn’t anticipate any changes to tax freeze bill and expects it to pass the full Senate by a healthy margin, but couldn’t say why there is a delay on the vote.

The freeze of the motor fuels tax would allow the state to use that revenue to borrow about $400 million to help fund the road plan.

“We don’t have a date or a time for the funding bill,” Harris said. “I’ve heard maybe a couple of questions about it, but I think it’s going to be passed overwhelmingly.”

Also still in limbo is House Bill 102 that would allow for the creation of local transportation infrastructure authorities to borrow money and levy tolls to pay for the state’s mega transportation projects, including Interstate 69 through western Kentucky.

Harris said that bill be taken up today or tomorrow, and changes are reportedly being made to the bill to ensure it wouldn’t be used for any multi-state projects besides those between Kentucky and Indiana.

In northern Kentucky, where many are pushing for the replacement of the Brent Spence bridge across the Ohio River to Cincinnati, the idea of the authorities and using tolls to pay for that project has met resistance.

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One Response

  1. Nice job of our elected officials. It looks like Daviess County wil receive about $38,000,000 in road improvement.

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