Lodging Tax Bill Moves To The House Floor

Jan 15, 2019

Credit Leonard J. DeFrancisci via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

The Wyoming legislature is considering a bill that would raise millions to support the state's tourism economy.

The five percent statewide lodging tax would be applied to those who stay overnight in Wyoming. The first three percent would be used to pay for state travel and tourism promotion while the other two percent would replace current local lodging tax funds.

Chris Brown of Wyoming's Lodging and Restaurant Association said travel and tourism promotion funding currently depends on the strength of the energy industry.

"We've been to looking to get away from that and find more stable funding to not only put more stability into our account, but to be able to compete more with our surrounding states."

House Revenue Committee Chairman Dan Zwonitzer pointed out that by raising money directly for travel and tourism promotion, that frees up other general fund money that can be used elsewhere.

If approved, lawmakers say the bill would raise $10 million next year and roughly $20 million a year after that. The bill was endorsed by the House Minerals and Economic Development Committee on Monday and will be debated by the full House on Tuesday.