This week the Legislature’s Joint Revenue committee agreed to submit a bill to the legislature that would increase the gas and diesel tax by ten cents a gallon, raising the tax to 24 cents. The money would go to the Wyoming Department of Transportation and local governments to pay for road construction.
Due to decreases in federal funding, the legislature has been forced to find other money to pay for roads. But with the downturn in energy prices, less money will be available in the future.
Senator John Schiffer says the gas tax would be a big help in finding additional funds for roads, but he notes that few in the state are that excited about a tax hike.
“There is some recognition that actually the price of gas is not determined by the fuel tax, it’s actually market factors and things like that,” Schiffer said. “But people are skeptical.”
Schiffer says if they don’t raise the gas tax, Wyoming will likely have to consider taking money away from other agencies in order to fix the roads. The House Revenue committee will have to agree to send the bill to the House floor in order for the issue to be considered by the legislature. Schiffer says that in the past, they have been reluctant to do so.