Revenue Committee Struggles To Agree On Tax Proposals

Sep 23, 2016

The Wyoming Legislature's Joint Revenue Committee meets in Buffalo September 23, 2016.
Credit Stephanie Joyce / Wyoming Public Radio

Proposals for generating new state revenue failed to draw much support from the Wyoming Legislature’s Joint Revenue Committee during its meeting this week.

 

The committee rejected proposals to increase taxes on wind energy and tobacco. A bill that would have introduced a sales tax on services also failed and a proposal to repeal some sales tax exemptions was largely gutted. Of the nine sales tax exemptions considered, the committee voted to keep five of them intact.

 

Senator Cale Case was frustrated with the lack progress.

 

“We really do have a revenue problem in Wyoming and we have an expenditure problem too, and I’m not sure we made a lot of progress,” he said. “I think probably what’s going to happen is we’re going to have to get further into the financial mess before things actually change.”

 

Senator Dave Kinskey also sits on the committee. He opposes raising taxes, especially in the midst of an economic downturn.

 

“There’s a way out of our dilemma in the budget and that’s to cut the budget, reduce spending, government live within its means,” Kinskey said. “That’s the answer, not taxing job creators more.”

The state has already cut $250 million dollars from the 2017-2018 budget, but the deficit is expected to be more than that.

 

The committee will consider possible revenue legislation again when it meets in November.  The full legislature convenes in January.