Policies

Kentucky's transportation infrastructure impacts our state's economy and every individual Kentuckian's quality of life. In order to promote economic growth and improved quality of life, KBT advocates for a safe, sustainable transportation infrastructure.

KBT Committees develop comprehensive legislative policy statements to address issues that impact safety and funding for Kentucky's transportation infrastructure. These policy statements serve as the foundation for positions on Legislative proposals that impact Kentucky's transportation infrastructure.

KBT Legislative Policies

Aviation

In order to continue to plan for and make necessary improvements to Kentucky’s airports, KBT urges the Kentucky General Assembly to continue to apply the funds received from the sales tax on jet fuels as prescribed in KRS 183.525.

All of Kentucky’s airports depend on funding derived from the Federal Aviation Administration. KBT urges Congress to pass a multi-year, adequately funded Federal Aviation Administration Authorization.

Highways|Local Streets and Roads

Kentucky’s transportation infrastructure contains more than 80,000 miles of roadway and 14,000 bridges that connect our citizens and Kentucky based companies to the rest of the world. Not only do these existing roads and bridges require continued maintenance, they require improvements so they can better serve the population. New construction of roads and bridges is also needed to help ensure the safe movement of our citizens and efficient movement of goods.

Kentucky’s road and bridge improvements are paid for using Road Fund revenues. Since 2015, annual revenues have decreased by more than $180,000,000. In order to continue to improve, maintain, and construct new roads, Kentucky’s Road Fund must be protected and increasing revenues for the future must be secured.

Possible solutions include:

  • Removing non-construction/maintenance related activities from theKentucky Road Fund
  • Adjusting the current road funding formula to compensate for declines in revenue due to mandated fuel efficiency standards (CAFE)
  • Allowing the use of State Tax Increment Financing for transportation and other infrastructure projects
  • Establishing a user fee for hybrids and electric vehicles.

Investment in infrastructure creates robust return on investment and ensures future economic growth. In order to ensure that adequate revenues are available for Kentucky Road Fund infrastructure projects, KBT urges the General Assembly to restore the lost revenues and provide a sustainable funding stream for the future. 

Federal Policy

KBT urges Congress to enact a fully funded, multi-year transportation reauthorization bill with increased federal funding for highways and roads.

Public Transit

A strong public transit network is an essential part of a strong economy. Transit connects Kentucky’s citizens to work, school, health care facilities, and other basic human needs regardless of location. Nearly 30 million trips are taken each year utilizing Kentucky’s urban and rural transit network. More than one half of these trips are related to employment.

KBT urges the Kentucky General Assembly to provide a dedicated, sufficient, and reliable revenue source to match federal funds, operate, maintain and upgrade facilities, purchase equipment, and to provide necessary transportation services to all Kentucky’s citizens including our Veterans, students, elderly, and those without access to private transportation.

Rail

Kentucky’s freight railroads cover more than 2,500 freight rail miles, connecting our Commonwealth to the rest of the global marketplace. Kentucky’s 13 freight rail lines move Kentucky mined materials, Kentucky manufactured automobiles, Kentucky grown agricultural products, and a variety of other goods. Rail lines must be regularly maintained and improved to continue to safely and reliably serve Kentucky’s manufacturers, miners, and agricultural producers.

KBT urges the General Assembly to provide a reliable revenue source to assist Kentucky’s rail roads as they improve their service lines.

Kentucky’s railroads also depend on a variety of federal grant programs and tax credits that help offset the costs of major improvements. KBT urges Congress to continue grant programs like TIGER and to establish a permanent 45G tax credit for short line railroads to provide opportunities for railroads to make investments in their rail lines.

Waterways/Riverports

Kentucky is bordered by more than 1,200 miles of navigable inland waterways that are used to transport large quantities of freight in an environmentally conscious manner. 14 locks and dams are placed along the inland river system, assisting in the safe navigation of water borne vessels. These locks and dams require continued maintenance, improvements, and enhancements to ensure the safe, efficient movement of freight along our inland river system.

KBT urges Congress to pass the Water Resources Redevelopment Act of 2016 to authorize improvements, maintenance, and enhancements to the Kentucky’s inland river infrastructure.

Kentucky’s public Riverports provide an access to the marine highway and the rest of the world. These public riverports require regular maintenance to safely and efficiently serve their customers.

KBT urges the General Assembly to appropriate adequate funding each fiscal year to the riverport financial assistance trust fund for the purpose of improving riverport facilities and infrastructure to capture economic and trade potential offered by water transportation.