Wyoming Liberty Group
In my blog Wyoming the High-Tax State I explained that our state is by no means the low-tax paradise it is sometimes portrayed as. With a top-four national ranking for state and local taxes in 2011, Wyoming has effectively squandered the economic advantages that come with the absence of individual and corporate income taxes. Our state GDP is stalled, the private sector is producing very few new jobs and even the minerals industry, critical as it is to large parts of the state, is to some degree stagnant.
Governor Mead will soon start a laudable effort to study business regulations. Why laudable? According to the 2011 Utah Business Regulation Review, overregulation reduces entrepreneurship and productivity, which shrinks economic growth.
- Taxation without representation right here in Wyoming
Do Wyoming legislators believe it is right to pass laws that permit one group of voters to force another group of voters to pay for services the first group wants?
While we can’t know for sure what legislators believe, we can see how they vote. Sometimes, how they vote is a real head scratcher, because it implies a problem with principles.
The 2013 General Session came to a rather abrupt close last Wednesday as the gavel fell and lawmakers cleared out their desks to head home. While the dust settles from the 36 day sojourn by legislators in the capitol city, many are searching this session’s artifacts like archeologists pouring over a new pictograph to uncover the message. Increasing taxes, talking about guns (or in the Senate’s case, not talking about guns), the lottery bill and an 80-page supplemental budget bill were all on the agenda.
The 2013 General Session of the Wyoming Legislature winds down this week. Today is the final day for third reading of bills, marking the end of floor work and the beginning of a long and boring wait for lawmakers. The usual end-of-the-session lag of conference committee reports and concurrence votes signify the last hours of work before the session is adjourned, our part-time legislators spill out to head home, and the House and Senate chambers sit empty once again.
As our state legislators get ready to wrap up the 2013 session and eyes are wandering off to the 2014 budget session, there are whispers around the state capitol that we might have more money to spend next year. A couple of years ago such whispers would have been a source of concern that state spending was once again going to grow out of control, but not now.
HB 69, Wyoming’s fuel tax hike bill, was passed in the senate as expected — but not without pushback from some concerned senators.
Many expected the bill to blow through the senate on first reading, but Senator Charles Scott (R-Natrona), called it off easy street, rising to explain that he felt compelled to vote against a fuel tax increase out of respect for the desires of his constituents.