Wyoming Liberty Group
After lobbying for and receiving a fuel tax increase in 2013, Wyoming’s Department of Transportation (WyDot) is asking for more money in its 2015 Supplemental Budget. Instead of contemplating a rainy day fund raid as Gov. Mead has suggested or a new gas tax grab, the Joint Appropriations Committee (JAC) told WyDot to find the money by prioritizing within its existing budget, by using, for example, its 2013 fuel tax bonanza. The JAC must do the same for the other state agencies, and in particular, State Parks and Cultural Resources (SPCR), the agency that also received a cut of the gas tax grab.
HB 69, Wyoming’s fuel tax hike bill, was passed in the senate as expected — but not without pushback from some concerned senators.
Many expected the bill to blow through the senate on first reading, but Senator Charles Scott (R-Natrona), called it off easy street, rising to explain that he felt compelled to vote against a fuel tax increase out of respect for the desires of his constituents.
The likelihood of a fuel tax increase means Wyoming citizens may soon be sending more money to government when they fill up at the pump. More fuel tax revenue is not enough to fix Wyoming’s roads, so legislators are still looking for more. The Wyoming legislature will soon look at HB 77, a bill to create a state lottery in Wyoming. However, while lotteries generate eye-popping headlines, they don’t generate jackpots for government.