The Wyoming House of Representatives has given initial approval to a bill raising Wyoming’s fuel tax by ten cents, from 14 cents a gallon to 24 cents.
House Revenue Committee Chairman Mike Madden says the state has spent millions from Wyoming's General fund to pay for roads, and he says they need more revenue to pay for maintenance and construction.
Speaker of the House Tom Lubnau says the increase is justified.
“What this tax is is a user fee,” Lubnau says. It’s a self-supported user fee that supports our highways.”
But Riverton Republican David Miller argued that there is a lot of waste at the Wyoming Department of Transportation that should be eliminated before Wyoming people are subjected to a tax hike.
“This is a greater than 70 percent tax increase to the citizens of Wyoming. Their taxes just went up January first,” Miller says. “I just can’t support this with that understanding.”
The gas tax was last raised in 1998. The bill will be debated two more times.