Transportation funding concerns continue in Legislature

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(Cheyenne, WY) – A road usage charge bill has been submitted to the 66th Wyoming Legislature. According to the bill language, it is a “per mile tax or flat tax charged to a payer for individual vehicle use on a Wyoming highway.”

The tax rate varies from a Category 1 rate of $.013 for motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles to a Category 6 rate of $0.1435 for seven or more axle multi‑trailer trucks. The full breakdown of categories and fees can be found under HB0037 – Road usage charge.

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Several of our local representatives have noted this bill is a bit “premature” and they do not expect it to advance out of the Legislature.

It’s important to note that if this did pass, it would replace the fuel tax.

While not overly popular, it is an effort to fund the transportation department.

They are reportedly losing over $250M on road maintenance across the state, according to SD 27 Senator Bill Landen, Chair for the Joint Transportation, Highways & Military Affairs Interim Committee who is sponsoring the bill.

“Vehicles are getting way more gas mileage and not capitalizing on the fuel tax,” Senator Landen continued.

This has been an ongoing conversation in the Wyoming Legislature for about 5-ish years and will continue to be one as more folks move away from gasoline and diesel, noted HD 54 Representative Lloyd Larsen. “I think this road usage tax has merit, but I don’t think how it would be implemented does.”

I-80 came up in many of our conversations with representatives. It reportedly takes the majority of funding, is dangerous, and has been an issue for a long time.

SD 25 Senator Cale Case has sponsored bill SF0073 – Tolling authority for I-80 as a way to ease the burden and get the road to help carry its own weight. “It’s something we should do in the long run,” he said.

County 10 also reached out to HD15 Representative Don Burkhart who is the HD Chair of the Joint Transportation, Highways & Military Affairs Interim Committee about the road usage charge. He has not responded to our inquiries at this time.

The Legislature reconvenes on March 1st; County 10 will keep you updated as it progresses.

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