Wyoming Liberty Group
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.
A favorite corporate welfare scheme in Wyoming uses tax dollars to attract private companies to the state. One headline-grabbing scheme involves tax breaks and grants for data center attraction. When spinning the benefits of these subsidies, politicians make effusive claims to taxpayers, raving on about diversifying the economy, creating jobs, boosting the construction industry, increasing economic activity during slumps, generating tax dollars in the state, and/or increase productivity. For some reason, the flag, apple pie and for the children are left off this list.
As the minerals boom turned to bust, so did the revenue supporting big government in Wyoming. Now our politicians have a choice. Should they:
- cut spending back to a level Wyoming taxpayers can afford;
- use revenues hoarded in savings accounts to continue spending at ever higher levels until savings run out, or;
- give money to private companies to magically increase state revenue?
The politically expedient choice at the moment appears to be: try to increase state revenues with a scheme known as corporate welfare.
With no final design in sight and visions of palaces dancing in legislator’s heads, the Capitol reconstruction project is now $1 million over budget. St. Nicholas’s sleigh may be full of toys but what he seems to be leaving the people of Wyoming is a big bill, as the current cost overrun will no doubt be the first of many as the Capitol renovation project takes off.