The Kansas Senate Tuesday approved a 2-cent increase in diesel and a 4-cent increase in gasoline taxes, along with a jump in vehicle registration fees. The measure would raise $434 million during the next seven years. Registration fees for cars and light trucks also would increase by $5, to $30.
The money would be used to help finance a 10-year, $13.6 billion transportation program approved in 1999, but robbed by legislators in recent years to finance general government programs. The current legislation in place finances highway, airport and railroad projects. Previous plans would cut $147 million from the program this year.
In the last days of session, lawmakers are chiseling away at the budget shortfall, and the Kansas House has yet to come up with a plan for financing the state transportation program that will meet Gov. Bill Graves' approval. The governor has threatened to call a special session if the House does not approve budget plans this week.