Wyoming must prioritize the work that needs to be done on its roads before it considers raising gasoline taxes, according to Gov. Mark Gordon.
Gordon, speaking during a news conference Tuesday, said he is taking a “wait and see” approach to the 3-cent per gallon fuel tax increase recommended by the Legislature’s Joint Revenue Committee for consideration during the Legislature’s 2020 budget session.
Gordon said the state has a $165 million gap between income for road maintenance and repairs and the estimated cost to keep the state’s roads up.
“We’re not going to go crazy on trying to figure out revenue to fix all that,” he said. “I think part of the conversation has to be how do we prioritize the roads and how do we make sure people in Wyoming understand what we won’t be able to do before we start saying how we’re going to raise taxes.”
While Gordon said he is not a fan of a proposed corporate income tax the Joint Revenue Committee will submit to the Legislature, he might be able to support a statewide lodging tax, a proposal that died in the 2019 legislative session.
“If it seems to be well targeted and not generally affecting Wyoming’s population, I think I would be generally supportive of that,” he said.
On other issues, Gordon said he is concerned with the growing use of “vape” products by Wyoming’s teens and is working with the state Health Department to study options to deal with the issue.
“It does seem to me it doesn’t make sense for us to sell vaping products to anyone under 21 years of age,” he said. “This is an area the Legislature should look into. But from my standpoint and whether I would issue an executive order, I’m looking at those policies, too.”