Wyoming Liberty Group
Or how to raid the rainy day fund and manipulate revenue forecasts all in one. Although on the surface, the purpose of SF 68 is to direct the governor and legislature on how to address budget shortfalls, it does much more. It creates the one percent severance tax account, gives the governor a tool to raid the rainy day fund, and changes who picks the members of the CREG.
The 2015 legislative session created a number of measures that put taxpayers into the risky business of supporting some private companies. It also, in contrast, set up the Minerals Tax Task Force that could turn this corporate welfare trend around. The job of the task force is to study and make recommendations for a fair, viable and simplified system of valuation and taxation for minerals. A lower, simpler tax system that treats each taxpayer equitably is preferable to government picking winners for special handouts while making losers out of taxpayers.
The Wilderness Society is currently in the middle of a misguided petition campaign to stop the transfer of federal lands into state hands.
The organization’s mission says they aim to “contribute to better protection, stewardship and restoration of our public lands.” This makes it hard to understand why the WS is taking the stance it is on this issue. Given that mission statement, the WS ought to instead join forces with the eleven western states seeking to have federal lands returned to state ownership and management. Such a transfer could stop the forced taxpayer subsidies of a byzantine federal bureaucracy that shows a lower level of both fiduciary and environmental responsibility than their state counterparts.
Government pension plans promise to pay current and future retirees a benefit based on a defined formula. To make good on its promise, government contributes tax dollars to a pension fund and invests them to generate income. But what happens when contributions and investment returns fall short? Will government raise taxes, cut spending, or reduce the promised defined benefit to retirees when the pension bill comes due?