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Committee holds off on changes to trust and LLC laws for now

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Those who work with Limited Liability Companies (LLC) and personal trusts in the state say there is nothing to worry about. That despite some recent news articles criticizing Wyoming’s laws which some say allow bad actors to hide money. The discussion took place during a meeting of the Legislature’s Joint Revenue Committee.

For years state leaders and those who work with trusts and LLCs have rejected those concerns and say rather Wyoming’s laws have generated a lot of income for the state. Over $31 billion have been invested in Wyoming based trusts. The state also gets over $7 million in new LLC filing fees. Many of those investments are due to Wyoming’s low tax rate. The Equality State Policy Center’s Jennifer Lowe said the low tax rate means only a few actually benefit.

“There’s a lot of money that isn’t really benefitting all of the folks in Wyoming,” said Lowe.

Lander Sen. Cale Case wondered about increasing taxes, but Trust Attorneys say those who are setting up trusts and LLCs in the state would leave then. They suggested leaving things alone.

Lowe added that something also needs to be done to improve transparency about who is investing in Wyoming. She said the media attention has given the state a black eye.

Ryan Gurule of the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency Coalition said Wyoming’s privacy laws have led to money laundering and the hiding of assets.

“Wyoming has attracted and protected capital from people who threaten our national security and undermine the stability of our financial and mainstream markets,” said Gurule.

But Scott Weaver of the Wyoming Trust Association said despite the concern expressed by many, Wyoming trusts have not violated any rules or regulations. The committee took no action but may revisit the issue in the future.

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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