Author Archives: Maureen Bader

Falling off the Fiscal Cliff

An early warning signal started blinking back in October 2014 to alert Wyomingites about the effect of falling minerals prices on the state budget. The blinking has now turned into a frenetic flashing. The October revenue shortfall of $4.4 million … Continue reading

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School District Spending Demands – A Disconnect

A coalition of school district superintendents wants more money. But while one committee, the Joint Education Committee was happy to give it to them, the Joint Appropriations Committee showed restraint instead. Continue reading

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Budget Prioritization and the Gas Tax Grab

After lobbying for and receiving a fuel tax increase in 2013, Wyoming’s Department of Transportation (WyDot) is asking for more money in its 2015 Supplemental Budget. Instead of contemplating a rainy day fund raid as Gov. Mead has suggested or … Continue reading

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The Supplemental Budget Session Blowout

Gov. Mead directed that “Department supplemental budget requests are for budget modifications that are emergency in nature.” What does $156.5 million in emergency agency spending look like? Try conference fees and website redesign to start. Seems some agencies missed the memo. Continue reading

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Passing Lanes Unlikely to Reduce Highway Deaths

Dying in a car crash is terrible, but while spending more money on roads will allow the governor to appear to be doing something, it is unlikely to make much of a dent in highway fatalities. Continue reading

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Raiding the Rainy Day Fund for Political Investments

If the governor truly thinks the state has enough saved to cover essential government functions during the inevitable rainy day, a better strategy would be to eliminate other revenue sources, such as the sales tax, and free people to spend on what they think will pay dividends in the future. Continue reading

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Rainy Day Fund Too Big?

Instead of looking for $4.4 million in cuts to the 2015-16 budget, Governor Mead wants to add an additional $156 million in spending by raiding the state’s savings accounts. Wait a minute! Why does the government have such large savings accounts? Continue reading

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Internet Sales Tax Grab Dead – For Now

Governments are looking high and low for more ways to take your money. That makes any news about blocking a tax, even temporarily, good news.  House Speaker John Boehner from Ohio announced he would block the senate’s Marketplace Fairness Act, … Continue reading

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Companies Should Pay for their Own Advertising

During a Revenue Committee meeting on November 10, WOT’s executive director, Diane Shober, provided a highly imaginative account of her department’s influence on travel, the economy and tax revenue in Wyoming. Imaginative, because as Representative Michael Madden astutely pointed out, the economic impact methodology used in her exposition has a problem. Continue reading

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Focus Government Spending on Core Functions

It is time to reform the tax system so tax revenue is dedicated to core government functions and all other activities covered by the spreading waistline of government be paid for—in full—by user fees. Continue reading

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