AP NEWS

Wyoming tax measures fare poorly despite looming deficit

February 16, 2018

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Bills that seek to offset a looming $850 million state budget deficit with new and higher taxes are doing poorly just a few days into Wyoming’s legislative session.

Friday was the deadline to introduce bills in this year’s session devoted to the two-year budget. Bills unrelated to the budget needed a two-thirds majority to be introduced but several proposed tax hikes didn’t even make it to a vote.

They included new taxes on lodging and real estate transfers and steep increases to existing taxes on wind energy and cigarettes.

Wyoming’s revenue is down amid weak demand for coal and low prices for oil and natural gas. Lawmakers in the Republican-dominated Legislature have had little appetite for taxes especially now that oil prices are up and revenue is beginning to improve.

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