THE “FREE RIDE” THAT MINERAL TAXES PROVIDE ISN’T REALLY FREE
Wyoming taxes the oil, gas, and coal industries to pay for our schools, hospitals, roads, and other public services and infrastructure. Mineral taxes make up 60 percent of the state’s total income.
In fact, Wyoming gets so much of its money from mineral taxes that we have just about the lowest tax rates in the nation in every other category—no personal or corporate income tax, low property and sales tax, no “wealth taxes” on things like estates or capital gains, and low taxes on products like tobacco and beer.
Mineral taxes pay so much that average Wyoming residents receive roughly $30,000 a year in public services while only paying $3,000 in taxes.
This might seem like a sweet deal. But each strip mine or gas field required to generate those mineral taxes comes at a high cost. They destroy our public lands, threaten our great herds, and harm our climate.
Wyoming residents want to protect our open spaces and abundant wildlife, today and for the future. We need to tell our elected officials to find new forms of revenue for our state.
Wyoming needs to kick its mineral tax addiction.