Drivers, Sheridan officials react to Wyoming gas tax bill - KOTA Territory News

Drivers, Sheridan officials react to Wyoming gas tax bill

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Now that the Wyoming State Senate's approved the bill, expect Governor Matt Mead to sign into law a ten cent-a-gallon gas tax hike.  Mead claims the increase will bring in $70 million.  Most of that would go to the Wyoming Department of Transportation.

"We could increase our maintenance projects, patching, snow removal," said WYDOT District 4 Engineer Mark Gillett.

The rest would go to local governments.  Sheridan officials expect to see an increase of $200,000 in gas tax revenue.

"We spend that money toward street maintenance, repair, supplies.  And we expend more than actually what we get currently for gas tax.  So the additional money will go toward that," said City Treasurer Jennifer Reed.

But a higher gas tax means higher prices at the pump, something drivers aren't thrilled about.

"I have to drive like 170 miles to work and back.  It just makes my bottom line zero," said Bob Wood of Sheridan.

The hike brings Wyoming's gas tax rate closer to surrounding states, but drivers don't think that justifies the increase.

"Because of the rural population, it'd be easier to just keep it low for us, because it's already hard going to and from all these distant towns," said Derrick Burns of Sheridan.

However, WYDOT expects only a minimal price increase at the pump.

"Historically when we've passed a gas tax, it does not go up the full amount equal to the tax," said Gillett.

The law will go into effect July 1, 2013.

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