taxes

Ad valorem taxes contribute to local and state-wide school funds
Pexels

The Joint Revenue Committee began a discussion on how to transition to a monthly ad valorem tax collection schedule. During this year's budget session, legislators voted to slowly shift mineral producers from an 18-month lag in collection to a monthly schedule in order to reduce tax delinquency.

Jimmy Emerson, DVM via https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

Wyoming legislators were told that state revenue projections are down $1.5 billion from January led by a huge drop in projected oil prices. 

Downtown Laramie, Wyoming
Bob Beck


This is a tough financial time for a lot of Wyomingites. But impacts on the general public also impact funding for local governments, which directly impacts a wide variety of services from law enforcement to streets.

Updated at 12:15 p.m. ET

U.S. taxpayers will have a three-month extension to file their taxes because of the coronavirus pandemic, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Friday.

He said that at the president's direction, "we are moving Tax Day from April 15 to July 15."

"All taxpayers and businesses will have this additional time to file and make payments without interest or penalties," Mnuchin added.

At the same time, he encouraged people who are set to receive refunds to file earlier so that they can get their money more quickly.

Online GIS Maps; Cooper McKim

Wyoming legislators are working through two bills that would lay the groundwork to study and potentially buy over a million acres of land and four million acres of mineral rights across the southern part of the state.

The 1,010,900 acres of land in question sits within six Wyoming counties: Lincoln, Uinta, Carbon, Albany, Laramie, and Sweetwater. Local officials are beginning to grapple with the potential risks and rewards of the deal.

Taxpayers are willing to spend way more than they currently do to fund and protect national parks, according to a recent economic analysis compiled by professors from Harvard and Colorado State University. 

Cloud Peak Energy's Antelope Mine customers
IEEFA

Tomorrow, July 25, is the last day Cloud Peak Energy will accept new bids to purchase its assets, which include Cordero Rojo and Antelope mines. The coal company filed for bankruptcy in May after cash difficulties that stem back to 2009.

Taxes Paid ($/MWh) by State After Incentives - Wyoming's tax is still $1, not $5
University of Wyoming / Center for Energy Economics and Public Policy

Wyoming is not the best state in the U.S. to develop wind. A new report out of the University of Wyoming shows the state is actually in fourth place nationwide. Authors of the report said even that position is vulnerable since Wyoming legislators have been pushing for increases to the wind tax.

Falmouth Public Library

The Wyoming Senate has given initial support to a five percent lodging tax that could provide over $20 million to Wyoming's tourism industry. Three percent of the tax would go towards state tourism promotion and the other two percent would go to counties to promote local tourism. Senator Hank Coe of Cody said during floor debate that the tax is important.

Falmouth Public Library

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.

Strong opposition to a proposed corporate income tax that was targeted at large-box stores will likely die this session without a vote. After a lot of opposition, the bill started to lose support in the Senate.

Screenshot from SF 118
wyoleg.gov

A bill under discussion in the Wyoming legislature called tax liability mineral production may not sound important, but Sheridan Representative Cyrus Western, and other legislators, assure that it is. Counties see it as a step towards recovering taxes owed to them from mineral companies - ad valorem taxes.

Enbridge Uranium Cartoon
Enbridge Inc.

A bill that would exempt uranium producers from a severance tax has passed through the House Revenue Committee. The goal is to ease the financial burden for companies when the market is particularly weak. The general counsel from Cameco, the state's largest uranium producer, said money saved would be used to improve operations and provide good paying jobs.

Uranium, coal, oil and gas, and wind energy are all being discussed this legislature -- and the word of the hour is revenue
Cooper McKim/Wyoming Public Radio

The big hitters in the energy industry are all back on the docket this session: coal, wind, uranium, and oil and gas. Unsurprisingly, the focus is on revenue for all of them. Here’s a look at a few of the bills still under discussion.

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.

Wyoming Legislature

Wyoming's Joint Revenue Committee will not change how ad valorem taxes are collected just yet. The one-time mineral property tax has left counties over $50 million in the hole, as of July, due to systematic issues like an 18-month wait for tax collection and prioritizing creditors in debt collection. An agreeable solution is still out of reach, with legislature cycling through the same options year after year.

Better Wyoming

A new report shows Wyoming’s lowest-income residents pay a higher tax rate nearly three times higher than the state’s top earners. While the state doesn’t have an income tax, sales tax ends up being a bigger portion of the lower class’ expenses. The report comes from the progressive advocacy group Better Wyoming and the bipartisan Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy out of Washington D.C.

Delinquent mineral production taxes by county updated in July of this year
Powder River Basin Resource Council

Last Friday, legislators spent three and half hours hearing testimony and discussing improvements to the ad valorem tax system, one-time severance taxes paid to counties to fund local services and the state school system. 

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. 

Falmouth Public Library

The Wyoming Joint Revenue Committee has voted to move forward with an optional municipal tax. It would allow any Wyoming town or city to institute its own one-cent sales tax to fund specific projects, a new source of revenue proponents say is sorely needed.

Powder River Basin Resource Council

The Joint Interim Revenue Committee is planning to discuss changes to a particular kind of tax known as ad valorem. It's a mineral property tax that has been a huge challenge for counties to collect for years due to policies that don't prioritize its collection.

Bob Beck

The Economically Needed Diversity Options for Wyoming Committee or ENDOW presented a 20-year plan to the legislature’s Joint Revenue, Business and Economic Development Committee and generally got good support. 

Albany County community leaders took a sigh of relief Tuesday night when a sixth penny tax, also known as a special purpose excise tax, passed by a wide margin there. 

City of Laramie

Community leaders in Albany County have fingers crossed that voters will agree to renew a sixth penny tax. What's also referred to as a special purpose excise tax would pay for a host of infrastructure needs. Numerous counties also use such a tax in the state. 

USGS via TopoQuest

A foreign trade zone, or FTZ, near the Casper International Airport will be expanded to cover most of Natrona County.

Parts of the Mountain West region have joined a number of state legislatures introducing tax credits to help low-income Americans. Utah could be the latest.

Senate President Eli Bebout Speaks To Full Senate
Cooper McKim

It’s the third of four weeks in the 2018 budget session. With the current revenue crunch, many bills have revolved around spurring new revenue, finding new sources, or cutting back on spending. And for energy, it’s no different. The surviving bills also come down to money. Thirteen bills arose related to energy, with only three still moving through the system. There are others that relate, but are not directly tied to energy.

Powder River Basin Resource Council's Shannon Anderson speaking to the Senate Minerals Committee about SF-98
Tennessee Watson / Wyoming Public Radio

A bill looking to cut future severance taxes for oil and gas companies was approved by the Senate Minerals Committee. Senate File 98 would cut severance taxes in half during the third year of production until the end of its fourth year.  

Cody Senator Hank Coe said the goal is to attract new energy operations to Wyoming over another mineral producing state. Coe said that it's worked before. 

Tennessee Watson

The Wyoming House of Representatives wrapped up week one of the 2018 Budget Session on Friday shortly before 3:30 p.m., which has some policymakers disappointed.

 

The last day to introduce bills, the early adjournment meant there were over 15 bills that got the ax without even being discussed. House Minority Leader Cathy Connolly said the House never got to discuss a tobacco tax, a sales and use tax rate and changes to a real estate tax, among others.

 

Bob Beck

This week, after months of discussion, a legislative committee defeated a number of tax increase measures. The Joint Revenue Committee was hoping to find money to pay for a revenue shortfall that some thought could reach a billion dollars. Then a funny thing happened over the summer, the revenue picture improved just enough that taxes could be avoided. 

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