Kansas Gov. Bill Graves' plan to raise the state's transportation fuels tax and truck fees. In January, Graves proposed a penny-per-gallon increase in the tax on diesel fuel and gasoline and a 3 percent hike in vehicle registration fees as part of a fiscal 2003 budget that focuses on the state government's $426 million shortfall.
Graves' proposal would raise the state sales tax to 5.1 percent from 4.9 percent in July; increase cigarette taxes by 10 cents, to 34 cents a pack; re-impose the inheritance tax on non-blood relatives; and amend state insurance premiums tax law to place more of a levy on out-of-state insurance companies. He also would accelerate the imposition of a 1-cent-per-gallon increase in motor fuel taxes to July 2002 from July 2003.
Graves' proposal has Kansas Motor Carriers Association hopping mad. KMCA is the state affiliation of the American Trucking Associations (ATA). The irony of this, after Graves serves out his term as governor of Kansas, he will go to Washington, DC and not as a lawmaker, but as the man ATA has picked as their new leader.