House kills motorboat bill amendment that would raise gasoline taxes in Wyoming - Casper, WY Oil City News
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House kills motorboat bill amendment that would raise gasoline taxes in Wyoming

Alcova Marina (File Photo; Trevor T. Trujillo, Oil City News)

CASPER, Wyo. — House Bill 195 proposes some changes to how gasoline taxes in Wyoming are distributed.

House District 43 Representative Dan Zwonitzer proposed an amendment to be considered during second reading on Monday, Feb. 24 which would have increased gasoline taxes in the state. Currently, there is a $0.24 per gallon tax on gasoline in the state.

The amendment would have raised the tax rate to $0.27 per gallon.

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However, an objection was raised that this amendment was not germane to the main proposal of House Bill 195. This objection was sustained, so the amendment was not considered.

The Wyoming House of Representatives passed the bill on second reading. Zwonitzer said he would like to discuss his amendment proposal further on Tuesday.

If the House passes the bill on third reading, it would move to the Senate for consideration. The bill proposes amending what motorboat fuel tax collections would pay for in the state.

The state calculates the amount of fuel used in motorboats using a formula based on the number of motorboats which have paid aquatic invasive species fees. The number of both in-state and nonresident motorboats registered in a fiscal year is multiplied by $28.75 to come up with the figure.

The bill would amend what such tax collections would pay for in the following manner (changes indicated in bold):

“The amount computed shall be credited to a separate account to be expended by the department of state parks and cultural resources to improve, construct, maintain, operate and ensure the safety of facilities for use by motorboats and motorboat users at state parks and state recreation areas and to provide grants to governmental entities for improvement, construction, maintenance, operation and ensuring the safety of publicly owned boating facilities at public parks and recreational facilities,” the bill reads.

House District 38 Representative Tom Walters explained during first reading of the bill that the intention is to ensure that motorboat gasoline tax collections can be used flexibly by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.

“It allows for a better use of those dollars,” he said. “It allows [us] to keep less pressure on our general fund.”

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