Wyoming Liberty Group
- Revenue shortfall highlights danger of one group paying for the benefits of another.
In its latest meeting, Wyoming’s legislative Revenue Committee discussed how to close the gap between state spending and state revenue for school capital construction. The bonanza funding the building blowout fizzled away, so what to do? Hike taxes to continue spending as usual or look for ways to spend less? As no one on the committee wanted to appear to be in favor of tax hikes, the discussion turned to the only viable option—spending reform. Too bad it took a crisis for legislators to focus on responsible spending.
o Wyoming Liberty Index volunteers rate 279 bills on liberty friendliness.
o Index scores legislators on support or obstruction of liberty.
o Rep. Kendell Kroeker again earns title of “Most Liberty Friendly Member of the House.”
o Cale Case is again the most liberty friendly Senator.
The Cheyenne City Council’s decision about allowing a retail liquor license owner to sell his license to Cheyenne’s Sam’s Club is about more than liquor policy. It is really a referendum on whether Cheyenne is open to business. Perhaps not. The Council Finance Committee recommends that the Council block the sale. This is a signal to investors that the City is willing to flex its muscle to protect favored locals at the expense of outside investors.
In Wyoming, some politicians are looking high and low for ways to take your money, especially if they can make it look like someone else is slipping his hand into your pocket. One way that popped up during a recent Revenue Committee meeting is a tax on Internet retail sales. Proponents justify this tax grab in two ways. First, the need for more tax revenue to fund the state budget shortfall and second, the notion that hard-pressed Main Street businesses can’t escape collecting the tax so taxing Internet sales would level the playing field. However, government has a spending problem, not a revenue problem. An Internet sales tax won’t do much for the revenue shortfall and if government really cared about Main Street retailers, they would reduce their tax burden instead of extending the dead hand of government to the Internet.