The Wyoming House of Representatives has voted to increase the state gas tax by ten cents per gallon.
Supporters say the money is needed to pay the costs of road maintenance, but opponents say citizens cannot afford the tax.
Rock Springs Republican Stephen Watt urged the use of state reserve funds to pay for roads instead.
“At some point in time we need to say that today is rainy and we need to spend some of our rainy day money,” Watt says. “Let’s not add more of a burden on our constituents with this tax.”
But House Appropriations Committee Chairman Steve Harshman says the state will need that rainy day money as it continues to face budget cuts.
“And when we have to have $153 million in cuts and you have big blue there… the Health Department… how are you going to cut 73 million?” Harshman says. “It’s gonna be tough.”
The measure passed 35 to 24 and now heads to the Senate for further debate.