Gas tax increase bill heading to full legislature

Fueling vehcile
(File Photo)

By Kevin Koile, Sheridan Media
(this story originally appeared on Sheridan Media)

Prices at the pumps could be going up in order to provide more funding for the Wyoming Department of Transportation.

Last week the Wyoming Legislature’s Transportation, Highways and Military Affairs committee, by a 9-to-2 vote, advanced a bill to the full Legislature that would raise the gas tax by 5 cents a gallon starting July 2022, another 5 cents starting July 2023, and another 5 cents starting July 2024.

Currently the gas tax in Wyoming is 24 cents per gallon, and it’s been that way since 2013.

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If passed, the tax would gradually increase to 39 cents per gallon.

The money raised would go towards WYDOT highway construction, repair and maintenance and can not be spent on operating or administrative expenses.

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WYDOT funding is mostly provided by fuel tax revenue and federal dollars.

The department receives no funding from the Wyoming State Legislature.

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A WYDOT spokesperson says the department is facing an estimated shortfall of more than $245 million.

Colorado is currently the only state bordering Wyoming that has a lower gas tax than the Cowboy State, but if the bill passes, Wyoming’s gas tax rate would eventually be higher than any of its bordering states.

The committee also advanced a bill that would allocate a portion of the state’s severance taxes to WYDOT.

The 4-week legislative budget session is scheduled to begin on Monday, February 14th.