Wyoming Liberty Group
As minerals industry tax revenue plummets, politicans face a choice. Cut spending or raise taxes. What is Wyoming's Revenue Committee talking about - you guessed it - Tax Hikes! But shifting the burden of a bloated government to the people of Wyoming will only make matters worse. It is time to cut government spending back to a level remaining taxpayers are willing and able to fund.
- Replace Taxation Fixation with Bloat Elimination to Clear the Skies
Just when you think Wyoming's economic outlook can’t get any darker, it does. The Consensus Revenue Estimating Group (CREG) released its April 2016 update and sent a clear warning to policymakers. The report showed lower than expected revenue collections from most sources for fiscal year 2016, ending this June. The state is in trouble right now and the situation could be much worse in the 2017/18 biennium.
In the Fall of 2013, I attended a presentation from the Cheyenne Police Department on marijuana enforcement in the city after Colorado’s enactment of its recreational marijuana law the previous year. Chief Brian Kozak was matter-of-fact, and was not there to advocate but to simply update the audience. This was not, however, the posture of various attendees, and Kozak fielded numerous questions from marijuana advocates that were little more than self-righteous critiques of state laws the chief of police has no authority to change.
On Thursday April 28 the Bureau of Economic Analysis released its advance estimate of GDP growth for the first quarter of 2016:
Real gross domestic product -- the value of the goods and services produced by the nation’s economy less the value of the goods and services used up in production, adjusted for price changes -- increased at an annual rate of 0.5 percent in the first quarter of 2016, according to the "advance" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the fourth quarter, real GDP increased 1.4 percent.
Reestablishing chickens in urban backyards has become something of an American trend in recent years. Wyoming cities are no different. Both Casper (2015) and Laramie (2014) adopted ordinances allowing residents to keep chickens, among other animals, in recent years. The Cheyenne City Council has now adopted its own urban chicken ordinance. If other Wyoming cities and towns plan to follow suit, their governing bodies need to focus on creating a balance between protecting private property rights and expanding individual freedoms.
Maureen and KVOC's Chuck Gray analyse the April 2016 CREG report in this radio interview. The revenue shortfall for 2016 identified in the report could potentially be much worse, and the outlook for the 2017-18 biennial budget dims every day. What was Governor Mead's response and what might we expect in the future?