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Although Wyoming has among the nation’s lowest property tax rates, sharp increases in home values have driven up tax bills to the point where relief has become politically unavoidable. Will the Legislature manage to enact it without gutting funding for public services or giving the state’s ultra-wealthy residents an undue handout?
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Rising home values have increased Wyoming property tax bills. The Legislature responded with targeted relief that will benefit nearly 10,000 households while untangling complicated issues with the state’s tax structure to allow for further reforms. They managed this while avoiding the slash-and-burn approach favored by the Freedom Caucus that would have gutted funding for local towns and counties.
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Diversifying Wyoming’s economy will require diversifying its tax base. While raising taxes on average residents is a political non-starter, a new report shows Wyoming can significantly broaden its tax base by focusing on luxury real estate and the ultra-rich.
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Russian oligarchs and other bad actors take advantage of Wyoming’s lax laws governing trusts and LLCs to hide their fortunes here. What do we get for acting as a global dirty money laundromat? Not much.
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Want to hurt businesses? Create an environment of uncertainty. That’s the plan for Wyoming lawmakers intent on kneecapping our wind and solar industries.
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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.