Local governments have $6.2M available from new fuel taxes

HELENA (AP) — Montana’s increased fuel taxes raised $6.2 million for road and bridge projects for cities and counties in its first four months.

Cities and counties were notified last week of the amounts available to them. They can request the funding beginning March 1. The governments must have a plan to use the money and a $1 match for every $20 they’re seeking.

The Montana Legislature last year increased the gasoline tax from 27 cents a gallon to 31.5 cents and the diesel tax from 27.75 cents to 29.25 cents.

Missoula will get just over $400,000, Great Falls $360,000 and Helena will rake in $208,000.

Lynn Zanto, transportation planning administrator with the Department of Transportation, says next year cities and counties will have a full year’s worth of increased taxes available. About one-third of the tax increase goes to the department for state projects.