A Wyoming legislative committee has voted down a tax bill that could have raised over $40 million in the next three years by removing the sales tax exemption on large data centers.
Economic Development professionals and the Mayor of Cheyenne opposed the bill, telling lawmakers that data centers as they are provide more of an economic impact than a sales tax would provide.
Sam Galeotos oversees a major data center in Cheyenne. He told the committee that the industry is thriving and worried that lifting the exemption would seriously hurt.
"There's a whole new opportunity out there with the growth of data storage that I believe, with the other challenges that we have economically in the state, that we should be diligently pursuing trying to get more of these businesses to come to Wyoming," said Galeotos.
House revenue committee Chairman Steve Harshman said that sales tax exemptions need to be looked at because the state is struggling with a revenue shortfall.
"We love data centers, it's not anything about them, we are just trying to pay our bills," said Harshman. "So we really appreciate your work to diversify and do those things, but we also know we have to diversify our tax system or it's going to be a net loss to the state."
Harshman added that the state has ridden on the mineral gravy train for too long.
The House Revenue committee defeated the bill on a 6-3 vote.