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Sen. Ray Peterson pretends to care about poor people (when it fits his anti-tax agenda)

June 22, 2017

By Better Wyoming staff

Don’t tell Sen. Ray Peterson (R-Cowley) that funding Wyoming’s public education system is the state’s top priority.

At a meeting last week in Riverton, the co-chairman of the Joint Revenue Interim Committee recounted an email he received from a woman in Gillette who told him that […]

Lawmakers slightly change their tunes on taxes and education

June 20, 2017

By Better Wyoming staff

The budget crunch facing Wyoming education has lawmakers speaking a little differently these days.

Sure, Senate President Eli Bebout (R-Riverton) still hems and haws about Wyoming’s “spending problem” and claims there’s a “silent majority” that apparently is fine with gutting public education. But even this staunch […]

Guess which sparsely populated mineral rich state is getting an income tax…

June 8, 2017

By Better Wyoming staff

Wyoming and Alaska, which both depend heavily on taxing minerals to fund their state governments, are two of the nine U.S. states that do not have a state income tax. Both also face huge deficits.

But Alaska is considering an income tax now, while Wyoming officials […]

Everything you know about Wyoming taxes is wrong

June 6, 2017

By Better Wyoming Staff

The truth about Wyoming’s tax structure and how it affects our economy is likely the opposite of what many residents think.

It’s important to know how the tax system works—especially who it punishes and who it rewards—as state legislators reluctantly begin debating if any taxes should […]

Learning to “live within our means” won’t fix Wyoming’s money problems

May 17, 2017

By Nate Martin

My cousin’s son was living in his basement. The kid is 19 years old, and he had been mowing some lawns for cash. But most of his day-to-day expenses were covered by an allowance from his parents.

Last month, my cousin told him: “Son, it’s time for […]

Revenue Committee punts on tax reform, allegedly its top priority

May 15, 2017

What was meant to be the first big step in fixing Wyoming’s budget crisis started with a whimper and ended with a mining-funded happy hour, as the legislature’s Joint Revenue Committee met last week in Saratoga and accomplished essentially nothing.

The importance of the committee’s task can’t be overstated: […]

Fight the Boom and Bust (Part 3): Sales tax and otherwise

May 9, 2017

Increasing sales tax in Wyoming isn’t a very popular idea. A University of Wyoming poll found in 2016 that 59 percent of respondents opposed it—this was, however, before the real extent of the current budget crisis began to set in.

To be sure, sales tax is a regressive tax […]

Fight the Boom and Bust (Part 2): “Sin” Tax

May 9, 2017

A whopping 63 percent of Wyoming voters said they are willing to pay higher taxes, according to a UW poll, but primarily the so-called “sin taxes” of beer and alcohol (81 percent) and cigarettes (78 percent).

Still, proposals to pass these no-brainer increases in the midst of a budget […]

Fight the Boom and Bust (Part 1): Income Tax

May 9, 2017

Wyoming’s boom-and-bust economic cycle—and the state budget surpluses and crises that follow—has gone on so long it seems to some people here almost like a birthright. Or a birth defect.

It’s obvious that that state needs to diversify its economy in order to avoid the radical swings that result […]

BUDGET RECAP (Part 4): Whispers of an Income Tax

Part 1: Healthy Babies Cost Too Much

Part 2: Smoke ‘Em if You Got ‘Em

Part 3: Lawmakers Do Pass Taxes (as long as they’re not taxes)

April 11, 2017

In a boom-and-bust economy like Wyoming’s, each cycle provides us the opportunity to reflect on booms and busts of the past in order to […]