tax

The Revenue Department

The Joint Revenue Committee has decided to put together a framework of what a corporate income tax could look like in Wyoming. The meeting grew heated as two public commenters accused the committee trying to adopt a tax increase. 

Digest For SF-98
Wyoming Legislative Service Office

Proposed legislation passed introduction in the State Senate last Friday that would cut the severance tax rate in half for petroleum and natural gas companies for a certain period of time. The reduction from 6 percent to 3 percent would take place during the project's third year until the end of its fourth. 

Leigh Paterson / Inside Energy

A Wyoming legislative committee is moving forward with proposals to increase the tax on wind energy. Wyoming is currently the only state that taxes wind energy production. The Revenue Committee decided at its meeting on Wednesday to draft two possible bills. One would raise the production tax on wind beyond the current one dollar per megawatt hour. The other would force wind companies to hand over some part of the federal wind energy production tax credit to the state.

Wyoming Legislature

State Representative Mike Madden and the joint revenue committee will be busy next week. They have a number of issues from local government funding to how to pay for school construction that they need to address. With the recent revenue projections, the committee will need to see if there are new ways to pay for such things. One idea could even be a property tax. Madden, who chairs the House Revenue Committee talks with Bob Beck. 

Jackson’s 2-percent lodging tax is up for a vote in November, and a new breakdown by Jackson Hole News&Guide shows 40-percent of lodging tax revenues go back to the county. Unlike Jackson’s 60-40 split, most towns only see about 10-percent of revenues from their lodging taxes – the rest going back into tourism.

The tax had been up for a vote ever since 1994, but had been continually struck down over fears it would hinder tourism. The measure finally passed in 2010 after promises of higher returns for the local economy. 

An interim legislative committee is planning to study Wyoming's beer and liquor tax this summer.

Wyoming's 2-cents-per-gallon tax on malt beverages is the lowest in the nation. It has remained unchanged since it was first passed in 1935, about a year after Prohibition was repealed.

The study is among several tax studies assigned to the Joint Interim Revenue Committee this summer and fall.

A House committee has approved a bill that would raise the cigarette tax by five-cents-per-cigarette and a dollar a pack.  Republican Representative Gerald Gay of Casper is the main sponsor.  He says money from the increase will help offset rising Medicaid costs.

“And tobacco is related to that because tobacco has such a profound impact on health care," Gay said. "So we figured out a way to sort of frontload  health care costs against one of the biggest health care users that there is.”

Some in the wind energy industry have expressed concern that the wind production tax credit might expire at the end of the year. 

U.S. Senator John Barrasso says he shares that concern and blames the on-again, off-again nature of such tax credits on the lack of a federal energy policy. 

Wyoming Sen. Mike Enzi introduced legislation that could bring billions of dollars into the federal treasury, but it isn’t a tax increase.