Wyoming has more money than initially thought, according to new report
Financially things are looking good for the state of Wyoming, according to a new report; however, the governor warns some future concerns remain.
A new report from the Consensus Revenue Estimating Group (CREG) showed that all state revenues are exceeding estimates from earlier this year, leaving the state with an additional $329 million in its general fund and budget reserve account. The amount of money the state expects to bring in over the 2023-2024 biennium increased by $738 million from earlier forecasts, as well.
Much of the increases are driven by mineral tax collections, according to the report, as with high inflation and volatile world politics, more money is being collected.
“Inflation, coupled with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and after years of underinvestment in domestic oil and natural gas production, provided substantial increases in mineral tax collections,” according to the report.
Other factors were an increase in non-mineral property taxes and school district property taxes.
But, Governor Mark Gordon stressed in a press release that fiscal conservatism needs to be maintained. He said revenues could change depending on federal energy policy.
“Wyoming continues to face a series of headwinds from a variety of factors, including a federal energy policy and misguided investment mandates that are hostile to our state’s primary industries,” Gordon said in the release. “While it is encouraging to see consumers appreciate the value of dependable and dispatchable energy, the improved revenues driven by higher energy prices – including fossil fuels – has been offset by the inflation the global economy has been experiencing.”
Gordon has expressed discontent at the federal government's lack of oil and gas lease sales on federal land – typically they happen four times a year, but they were on pause for a year and a half up until June. The federal government is holding another lease sale in November.
Notably, President Biden signed into law the Inflation Reduction Act in August, which requires a certain number of federal oil and gas lease sales to take place for every renewable energy project announced.
Gordon is expected to issue a proposal on how to allocate the extra funds on Nov. 18.