On Friday, Wyoming Governor Matt Mead signed a bill that will add ten cents to the current 14-cent fuel tax, increasing the state fuel tax to 24 cents. Under the bill, 2/3 of the added revenue will go to WDOT and the remainder will go to local governments and municipalities for road repairs.
The extra 10 cents is expected to generate an additional $70 million in revenue.
Like many roads and highways across the country, Wyoming’s roads could use extensive repair or replacement. The problem is that the money isn’t there. The state is experiencing a major highway fund deficit. Currently, WDOT needs $134 million annually to cover the cost of road repairs.
There were two options to ease the deficit: raise the fuel tax or create tolls.
Wyoming currently has the second lowest fuel tax rate, just below Alaska.
“The situation is well illustrated in PowerPoints provided by WyDOT, and literature produced by a pro-fuel tax coalition called ‘Save Wyoming’s Roads’: Montana’s gas tax is 27.75 cents per gallon; Colorado’s is 22 cents; South Dakota’s is 24 cents; Wyoming’s is 14 cents,” Geoffrey O’Gara reported.
The fuel tax will take effect on July 1.