Tom Welch

Welch votes for $60 Million gas tax increase

Helena – Representative Tom Welch, R-Dillon, voted to pass a 38% increase to Montana’s fuel tax. Rep. Welch joined with the mostly Democrat coalition to pass the bill in the House.

House Bill 473 which increases the state tax on gasoline and diesel fuel by about 38% has been one of the most contentious pieces of legislation so far this session.   The bill will cost motorists more than $60 Million per year according to estimates from the legislature.

The bill passed second reading on the House floor on Tuesday with 39 Democrats voting in favor along with 17 Republicans. It faces one final vote in the House before Moving to the Senate.

At 27 cents per gallon for gasoline and 27.5 cents per gallon for diesel Montana already has one of the highest gas tax rates in the country, with the increase Montana would be the 6th highest in the nation.

The bill has been supported by a collection of special interest groups led by the Montana Contractors Association. The Montana Department of Transportation and Governor Steve Bullock have also supported the measure.

By: Big Sky Headlines staff