Senate panel trims proposed increase to state fuel tax

HELENA, Mont. - A Senate committee has trimmed a proposed increase to the state's fuel tax previously passed by the Montana House to pay for road and bridge projects.

The Senate Finance and Claims Committee on Tuesday approved raising the gas tax 4.5 cents a gallon beginning this summer and gradually increasing to 6 cents by mid-2022.

The diesel tax would go up 1.5 cents this summer and rise to 2 cents by mid-2022.

The bill passed by the House would have raised the gas tax 8 cents a gallon and diesel 7 ¼ cents.

The amended bill also includes a 3 percent fee increase on vehicle registrations and a new "Ferrari" tax on cars and recreational vehicles worth more than $150,000.

The changes, if approved, would raise $37 million its first year and $49 million by 2023 for construction projects.

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