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Wyoming’s population is shrinking and aging, and the Good Ol’ Boys in the Legislature staunchly oppose new taxes. But younger generations who would like to build their lives here are starting to speak up against budget cuts that would cripple the state’s education system and economy.
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The Legislature’s Revenue Committee has one job: to develop proposals that allow Wyoming to adequately fund its public services and infrastructure. Now that fossil fuel mining taxes are going away, the committee has failed at its single job again and again and again.
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The increased ability for towns and counties to raise revenues is a nod toward diversifying Wyoming's tax structure. But because the new revenues will come from sales tax, they will come at the highest cost to the state's poorest residents.
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The Senate is proposing nearly $40 million less than the House for the state education budget, looking to cut funding for cost-of-living raises, transportation, discretionary funds, and compensation for National Board Certified teachers.
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The Legislature’s approval of an actual tax increase suggests that lawmakers understand cuts alone can’t fix Wyoming budget crisis.
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A proposed severance tax break for Wyoming oil and gas companies is meant to prop up the industries. But markets—not tax rates—have historically determined production levels.
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A bill would give a tax break to coal companies who ship their coal from Wyoming to Asia through ports in Canada and Mexico.
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The proposal would impose a 5 percent tax on hotel stays, generating an estimated $19 million per year mostly from out-of-state visitors.
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The House declined to hold an introductory vote on a proposed corporate income tax that would have generated tens of millions of dollars each year for Wyoming schools.
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A bill to expand Medicaid failed an introductory vote Monday, just hours after the Legislature convened, leaving tens of thousands of Wyomingites without healthcare … again.