By Tristan Ahtone
Cheyenne, Wy – The state's tax on gas and diesel could rise by ten cents. That's if a proposal to increase the fuel tax from 14-cents to 24-cents over a three year period continues to get support. Yesterday (Monday), the legislature's transportation committee voted to increase the tax. The issue has to be approved by the full legislature.
The last time the legislature raised the tax was in 1998 from 9 to 14 cents. Committee Co-Chairman Michael Von Flatern says since then there's been a 100-percent inflation for road construction and maintenance.
"A steadier source of income for the department of transportation is needed, and this is one way that they at least know they'll receive somewhere around $48 to $50 million dollars a year."
Both gubernatorial candidates Leslie Petersen and Matt Mead have said they would be open to considering an increased fuel tax. Von Flatern says that fact may have influenced the vote. A tax of 24 cents per gallon would put Wyoming in the middle of the pack among the 50 states.