Wyoming Liberty Group
Sultan of the Taj Mahal Reigned In
The Taj Mahal was lavishly constructed as a mausoleum to bury the favorite wife of a Sultan.
In a similarly excessive approach, some senators with a “spare no expense” mindset are working to return the Wyoming Capitol to its former historic glory. Undeterred by the fiscal crisis, one senate visionary advocated adding a $3 million center for tourists at the Capitol. With the Capitol budget on the brink of the $300 million line in the sand set by Governor Mead, this senate visionary sought to bury this $3 million cost overrun in another budget.
Certain very powerful senators tried to bury the cost overruns of their favorite boondoggle, the Wyoming Capitol building. Fortunately for Wyoming taxpayers, they have been reigned in.
Millions of people travel to—and in—Wyoming every year: some for work, some for pleasure, and some just because it takes a long time to get places in such a large state. All these travelers spend billions of dollars in Wyoming.
How big a part does tourism play in total travel and how important is the Wyoming Department of Tourism (WOT) in all this?
The Casper Area Convention and Visitors Bureau is calling for an increase in the lodging tax from 3 to 4 percent. Local governments and their offshoot organizations looking for more money favor higher tourism taxes because many voters seem to believe out-of-county, if not out-of-state, visitors bear the tax burden.
There is, however, no evidence to support this belief. In addition, whether county or state residents are paying the tab or not, the reality is that money is going to fund a government program instead of paying for food, clothing or other travel related services provided by the private sector.
The Laramie County Commissioners voted to put the continuation of the 4 percent lodging tax on the ballot on November 4th. This is a fairly safe tax for commissioners to support as many voters believe out-of-county, if not out-of-state, visitors pay it.
There is, however, no evidence to support this belief. But whether county or state residents are paying the tab or not, the reality is that money is going to fund a government program instead of paying for food, clothing or other travel related services provided by the private sector.