Lawmakers in Wyoming have given final passage to legislation increasing the state tax on diesel and gasoline. Republican Governor Matt Meade is on record as supporting the 10 cents per gallon increase that would push state tax to 24 cents per gallon.
If he does sign the measures as expected, it will take effect on July 1. Currently, the state fuel tax is the second lowest in the country. The last time Wyoming raised its fuel tax was in 1998.
It’s estimated this will raise an additional $70 million dollars per year for roads, with around two-thirds going to the state transportation department and the rest going to local governments for the same use.
The legislation was endorsed by many groups, including trucking, saying the additional money was needed for roads and bridges and would help the Wyoming DOT plan projects better. Supporters also argued against other proposals to increase revenue including tolls or fees for vehicle miles traveled.
Opponents said the hike will result in the cost of transporting goods to increase and comes as the federal government is likely considering higher fuel taxes.
Despite the expected increase in the fuel tax, Wyoming is still expected to face about a $60 million shortfall in road funding needs, but Meade says he will not push to find more money, rather he wants the to state DOT to use it’s budget more efficiently.