A bill that would have replaced Kentucky's weight-distance tax with higher fuel taxes and registration fees is dead, but the issue may come up again in a special session later this year, says Kentucky Motor Transportation Assn. President Harold Bernard.

House Bill 978, introduced March 1 by Rep. Jack Coleman Jr. (D-Burgin), would have done three things, says Bernard. It would have replaced the $70 million in weight distance tax revenues with a three cent increase in diesel fuel taxes at the pump and a 126% increase in registration fees on trucks over 55,000 lbs. It also would have repealed the state sales tax on trucks.
"Kentucky is one of the few states that has a significant state sales tax on trucks and that's the reason so many trucks in Kentucky are licensed out of state," he explained. "Our argument for this bill is purely economic development, promoting the industry, promoting warehousing, distibution and so forth."
However "there is so much opposition in the General Assembly to tax measures that lawmakers simply don't want to take it up this time around," he said.