There have been many comments about HB0037 - Road Usage Charge. This is not the right solution to the problem we face and I will be voting against this bill if it gets to the floor of the House. The problem that the Transportation Committee is trying to solve is how to fund highways as well as county and city roads in Wyoming in the future in light of decreasing revenue and increased expenses for road maintenance. The problem that we have seen in the past few years with the fuel tax is that vehicles are becoming more fuel efficient therefore there are fewer gallons of fuel being sold. Electric vehicles are becoming more common and they do not pay fuel tax at all, yet they cause damage to the roads just like gas vehicles.
I think we can agree that the cost of road maintenance will continue to increase as time goes on. We will need more money in the future to keep our roads in good shape. It is fiscally conservative to maintain our roads rather than let them get so bad that they need total replacement - similar to changing the oil in your car so you don't have to replace the engine. Rebuilding a road costs many times more that maintaining a road.
Fuel tax not only funds our state highways, but also our county and city roads. WyDOT gets 57.5%, Counties get 27.5% and cities & towns 15%. According to the Wyoming Constitution Article 15 Section 16, fuel tax can only be used to maintain the road infrastructure. I welcome your suggestions on solving this problem.
Here is the WyDot budget http://www.dot.state.wy.us/home/administration/budget.html