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Bill To Increase Fuel Tax Revenue Will Move To The House Floor

Wyoming Legislature

Wyoming's House Transportation Committee voted to advance a bill that would increase the state's fuel tax by nine cents.

The bill proposes to raise the fuel tax from 24 to 33 cents per gallon of gas. Fuel tax revenue funds the Wyoming Department of Transportation and the services they provide like maintaining the state's roads and bridges. The department has major funding shortfalls, especially when it comes to maintaining the state's roads.

The bill received wide support from groups across the state at Tuesday's meeting of the House Transportation Committee. Wyoming Taxpayers Association's Ashley Harpstreith said that the organization's members support the increase.

"It is transparent as the tax is visible, accountable, audible with the current system," she said. "By doing nothing to adequately invest in our transportation system, we are simply passing the expense to build the transportation system to future generations. It is not fiscally sensible to do so and is contrary to the fiscally conservative principles."

However, a few did voice opposition to the bill.

Brett Moline, who represents the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation, said his members believe WYDOT could make more cuts before asking for a tax increase and that it could drive away people from filling up their tanks in-state.

The committee did pass amendments to the bill that would phase in the tax increase over three years and require the department to use the nine cent increase to maintain roads and bridges specifically.

The bill will move forward to the house floor when the session starts next week.

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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