You don’t kick someone when he’s down.

But that’s what punitive gas tax policies do. Gas prices often go up when economic times are toughest. Punitive gas tax policies monitor gas prices and automatically raise gas taxes accordingly, rather than having a flat rate for gas taxation – or repealing the tax entirely.     

People and the economy are hurting—unemployment is high, cost of living is high, taxes are high. The last thing people need right now is a tax increase, of any type. But that is just what Kentucky is going ahead with.

After the problematic gas rationing of the late 1970s, Kentucky levied their gas tax based on the wholesale prices of gasoline. They use three months worth of data to tax the following three months. The data now says that Kentucky must increase the gas tax by 1.9-cents to 27.8-cents a gallon – even though prices have drastically fluctuated since.

With the federal tax, this totals over 46-cents a gallon in taxes. According to, the average Kentuckian pays $3.528 a gallon without the increase. As recent as 2008, Kentuckians were paying less than $2 a gallon.

Georgia has a similar story. They too normally use these monitoring techniques to automatically change their gas prices.

Georgians are paying an average of $3.471 a gallon. And, similar to the trends in Kentucky, Georgia’s average gas cost in 2008 was below $2 a gallon. The automatic tax hike, set to take place on July 1, would increase this tax by 1.6-cents to 22-cents per gallon.

But there’s one key difference in Georgia—their governor is a Taxpayer Protection Pledge signer, saying he will never support a tax increase. Governor Nathan Deal looks out for his people; he knows they are suffering economically, and he wants to do everything he can to fight raising gas prices and a higher cost of living.

Governor Deal has just issued an executive order stopping this increase in taxes.

ATR calls on the governor of Kentucky to do the same thing. Governor Steve Beshear—you know your people are financially hurting, why increase their tax? Follow Governor Deal’s lead and order that this tax be stalled or that it be flattened, so as not to hurt people when they can least afford it.

We also call on Kentucky Republican gubernatorial candidate David Williams to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge and to take a stand against the tax-and-spend policies of Governor Beshear.

Kentuckians, look to Georgia’s lead—take charge of your state and say no to raising taxes.