Governor Andy Beshear has signed an emergency regulation to freeze Kentucky's state gas tax, preventing an increase of $.02 per gallon that would have gone into effect on July 1.
Kentucky's current gas tax sits at $.26 per gallon, but the increase was set to bring that total to $.28 on both regular and diesel fuel.
Freezing the gas tax will save Kentuckians an estimated $35.4 million through mid-January of next year, Beshear said.
"Kentuckians cannot afford to pay more and I am committed to doing everything I can to help keep more dollars in people's pockets," said Beshear. "This law was never intended to hurt Kentuckians during tough times, but with rising prices and inflation, this increase would have a negative impact on our families and it is time to take action."
The tax freeze comes as prices at the pumps have continued to rise throughout the Tri-State region. On Thursday, when Beshear signed the regulation, gas prices approached $5 per gallon, with Kentucky prices coming in at the lowest prices in the Tri-State.
According to a press release from Beshear's office, the funds collected to the state gas tax go toward the state's Road Fund. Beshear said to offset lost road fund revenues caused by the tax freeze he plans to propose using funds from the upcoming surplus in the state's general fund.
"This action to provide relief to Kentuckians will have no material impact on the transportation budget and projects," said Jim Gray, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet secretary. "All projects will move forward."
Beshear said he has also sent a letter to Daniel Cameron, attorney general of Kentucky, for advice on whether a state of emergency should be declared to activate the price gouging statute.