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WYDOT Budget Shortfall Is Higher Than Originally Thought

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After a new study, the Wyoming Department of Transportation has revealed its budget shortfall is much higher than initially thought.

WYDOT Director Luke Reiner said when he took over the department about two years ago, the shortfall number he inherited was $135 million. But that didn't seem right.

"In my mind, it was like, 'Okay, thanks. This is the starting point,'" he said. "But I'll bet you that number is bigger than it was because we haven't really had an increase in revenue. Then we know that the costs that inflation has really eaten into what we're able to build, so I bet your funding gets bigger."

According to the report from Dye Management Group, Inc. the department's budget shortfall is actually $354 million.

But Reiner said that hasn't changed the department's priorities in each of the categories it handles.

"It has really allowed us the opportunity to precisely identify some of those areas, what the funding gap was, and I don't think in the past that exact analysis and detail had been done," he said.

He added that the department's priorities haven't changed and they are looking to increase revenue. One example is by increasing vehicle registration by five dollars to support the state's revenue information system.

Have a question about this story? Contact the reporter, Catherine Wheeler, at cwheel11@uwyo.edu.

Catherine Wheeler comes to Wyoming from Kansas City, Missouri. She has worked at public media stations in Missouri and on the Vox podcast "Today, Explained." Catherine graduated from Fort Lewis College with a BA in English. She recently received her master in journalism from the University of Missouri. Catherine enjoys cooking, looming, reading and the outdoors.
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