The Legislature's Joint Revenue Committee has voted to recommend approval of a nine cent fuel tax increase to pay for highway maintenance. Wyoming Department of Transportation Director Luke Reiner said WYDOT faces a funding gap of $136 million and the tax increase would help chip away at that.
"Each additional penny or cent of fuel tax earns about $6.7 million. And so a nine cent fuel tax would equate to about $60 million per year," said Reiner.
The proposal received support from the Wyoming Taxpayers Association (WTA) and other industry groups who told the committee that maintaining roads is critical. Ashley Harpstreith of the WTA said the need is great.
"By doing nothing to adequately invest in our transportation system, we are simply passing the expense to build the transportation system to future generations," said Harpstreith.
The bill will be considered in the 2021 legislative session.
Earlier in the day, the committee agreed to draft a bill to increase the cigarette tax by 20 cents, to 84 cents a pack. The committee will consider that proposal in December.