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County GOP criticizes Rep. McCoy over support of gas tax, vote for bank tax break

By JIM BROOKS
Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Wednesday, May 22, 2019 — In what may be a first for the local Republican party, the Nelson County GOP county committee issued a resolution during its meeting Tuesday that takes 50th District state Rep. Chad McCoy to task for his support for legislation that would have raised the state’s gas tax by 10 cents.

STATE REP. CHAD MCCOY

House Bill 517 would also have created a user fee for those who drive all-electric vehicles, who currently don’t contribute anything to road maintenance since they don’t need to buy gasoline or diesel fuel.

According to a party press release, McCoy supported the gas tax hike while also voting to give banks a significant tax break — a tax break which cost the state approximately $100 million a year.

The resolution claims that the gas tax bill was an attempt to “make up for the $100 million on the backs of small business and the working people.”

The release calls his actions “abhorrent to our values.”

“The drive by the House Republican Leadership including our state Rep. Chad McCoy, to move Kentucky to a more consumption based tax hurts small business and middle and lower income people disproportionately.”

“The Nelson County Republican Party will no longer stand for legislation that hurts small business and working people and will pass further Resolutions if necessary to remind our representatives of their obligations to conservative values.”

The resolution states that gas tax money has historically been diverted for other uses outside of highway maintenance, and calls on state legislators to “reduce waste and excessive spending to fund these [road construction] projects, as the citizenry is already taxed beyond their ability to pay, if this alternative cannot be accomplished, we urge you to find another method to fund the roads, something that is more equitable and affordable.”

DWINDLING REVENUES. Kentucky has a backlog of more than $1 bllion in road paving projects, as well as more than 1,000 bridges in need of repair or replacement. As gas prices have dropped and people drive more fuel efficient vehicles, the revenue the gas tax creates has decreased.

In 2015, the General Assembly created a “floor” for the gas tax, which currently stands at 26 cents per gallon.

Under Kentucky law, the state gas tax is adjusted every three months based on the average wholesale price of gas. The rate cannot increase by more than 10 percent per year. However, when gas prices fall, the tax revenue declines, but the cost of infrastructure repair costs do not decrease, but gradually increase over time.

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