Wyoming panel to sponsor fuel tax hike

| Wednesday, October 01, 2003

A legislative committee has voted to sponsor a bill boosting Wyoming’s fuel tax by 6 cents a gallon, Cheyenne’s KGWN TV reported.

The increase, which would be phased in over three years, would raise $38 million a year by 2006. Of the total, $13 million would go to roads, $13 million to local governments and $12 million to schools.

The Joint Interim Revenue Committee voted Sept. 24 to sponsor the bill after hearing from supporters.

The fuel tax proposal will need a two-thirds vote to be introduced during next year’s budget session.

Earlier this year, the state House voted against a 1-cent increase in the fuel tax to help pay for city street improvements. Another bill, which would have raised the tax 3 cents a gallon to fund a statewide multilane highway program, also failed.

Gov. Dave Freudenthal recently told the Wyoming Transportation Commission he did not support raising the fuel tax, the news station reported. But he told commissioners they could convince him to change his mind if there were widespread public support for the idea.

Freudenthal predicted the Legislature would not pass a tax hike because it is an election year and because the state has a surplus.

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