Wyoming Liberty Group
Maureen Bader and Glenn Woods discuss the use of the Permanent Wyoming Mineral Trust Fund to pay for subsidized loans to private business. During a time when we have legislative committees talking about new taxes, the last thing the people of Wyoming should be forced fund are handouts to private businesses.
Recently, Wyoming's revenue from its wind power tax has been in the news. It is is down some 15% compared to last year, with no change in total production. 15% sounds like a lot, especially in the context of falling revenues from coal and other fuels. But let's put that in perspective.
The Cowboy State became the first in the nation to tax wind production when it passed a $1-per-megawatt-hour tax in 2010. Tax collections have bounced around ever since, rising from $2.6 million in 2012 — the first year the levy was imposed — to $4.4 million in 2014. Last year, the state collected $3.7 million.
The Wyoming mainstream media went into a frenzy this week when it reported a 15 percent drop in wind production tax revenue. The $600,000 revenue reduction highlighted how alternative revenue sources will not make up for out-of-control government spending. This discussion also includes the problems with corporate welfare and how high electricity costs drive business away.
During the minerals boom politicians competed to see who could spend more to give voters “free stuff.” The free spending Freudenthal administration partied on with a state spending spree that doubled the cost of government—free stuff is expensive after all. Of course, buying votes with free stuff means convincing voters they can get something for nothing. That wasn’t difficult when the minerals industry picked up the tab; every spending request seemed to get knee-jerk approval.
Maureen Bader and Chuck Gray discuss the fall in minerals industry revenue and the governent's futile search for alternative revenue souces. Let's face it. There just aren't enough people in Wyoming to pay for politician's vote buying schemes. Find out what happened in other places who tried to raise taxes on a mobile group in this KVOC radio interview.