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State Official Says Wyoming's Revenues Are Up

Visitors enter the Wyoming state capital
Bob Beck
Wyoming Public Media
Wyoming State Capitol

Wyoming projected over a $1 billion in revenue losses due to COVID-19, but it turns out the state could be looking at close to $1.5 billion in new state and federal money.

The Legislature's Budget and Fiscal Administrator Don Richards told the Joint Appropriations Committee that in addition to $1 billion in federal American Rescue Plan money, the state will likely qualify for an additional $300 million in federal dollars to make up for revenue losses.

Richards added that the state's Consensus Revenue Estimating Group's (CREG) January revenue forecast for the state was pessimistic, meaning that the state’s revenue picture is much brighter.

"We could see somewhere in the neighborhood of $250 million of revenue in excess of the January CREG forecast for general fund and budget reserve account for fiscal 2021 alone," said Richards.

He said that money comes from high oil prices, improved natural gas revenue, and even an increase in coal production. He noted that state sales taxes are also up.

"There is significant fiscal and economic stimulus in the state's economy," Richards added.

Richards said the state could spend federal dollars in place of state general fund money in the short term. Lawmakers and the governor will decide if they want to restore cuts made during the past legislative session or take another approach.

Bob Beck retired from Wyoming Public Media after serving as News Director of Wyoming Public Radio for 34 years. During his time as News Director WPR has won over 100 national, regional and state news awards.
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