The Wyoming Senate will soon get a chance to debate a 5 percent statewide lodging tax proposal that supporters say will raise $32 million. Most of the money will go to fund tourism promotion in the state.
It's expected to provide the Wyoming Department of Tourism with more money and also provide tourism promotion money to counties. Senate Travel Committee Chairman Ogden Driskill said he has mixed emotions about the bill because he doesn't want to raise any taxes. But he admits that more money for tourism promotion works.
"The really big rainmaker in the state is tourism. You know there's pretty empirical data out there that for every dollar we feed to the tourism department they bring us about $11 in spending back," said Driskill.
Still Driskill said he doesn't like automatically directing revenue to an agency so it is possible he will vote against the bill on the Senate floor. He said he wants the state to reduce spending before it raises taxes. The bill passed the House Travel Committee on a 3-1 vote. Senator Lisa Anselmi-Dalton declared a conflict of interest.