JACKSON (WNE) — Rep. Mike Yin, D-Jackson, is filing a bill calling for a flat, 4% personal income tax in Wyoming.
The Equality State is one of nine states that do not tax residents’ job-related earnings.
Supported for decades by revenues from mineral extraction, Wyoming is notoriously tax-averse. A number of newly-elected Wyoming legislators campaigned on a “no new taxes” pledge, and there are only nine other tax-friendly Democrats in the 60-person Wyoming Legislature. But Yin told the Jackson Hole Daily opposition to taxes “doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be pushing this conversation.
“We have a budget crisis, and we need to deal with it,” he said.
Revenues from oil and gas have cratered in recent years, decimating the state budget. Lawmakers are expected to face tough questions about K-12 education funding this legislative session, which restarted Monday.
The income tax would generate roughly $337 million for the state, and there’s a $300 million or so shortfall in education funding for the current biennium, Yin said.
“So, when it comes to funding K-12, just this one income tax alone would close that gap,” the Jackson Democrat continued. “So I think just helping people realize that is important.”
Yin’s bill is set to be co-sponsored by Sen. Chris Rothfuss and Rep. Cathy Connolly, both Albany County Democrats.