Wyoming’s State Legislature in action

Pictured is Wyoming’s State Capitol in Cheyenne. COURTESY PHOTO

Wyoming’s State Legislature in action

CHEYENNE — The Wyoming State Legislature is in a non-budget session, but numerous increases in spending are also on the docket.

And to pay for the spending, numerous bill to increase revenue.

This week the House Revenue Committee voted to drop the bill that would have increased the tax on tobacco products. It was cut down by a vote of 5-4 by the House committee. It had been proposed as a “way to increase revenue and to cut smoking rates. The bill would have taxed cigarettes at $1.60 per pack, up from the current 60 cents.

An income tax was proposed for big corporations, but it died in the it died in the Legislatures House Revenue Committee last Friday. A bill that would levy a personal and corporate income tax of four percent on Wyoming residents and companies making over $200,000 a year was proposed in the Wyoming Legislature. House Bill 233, sponsored by Rep. Cathy Connolly, D-Laramie, and Sen. Chris Rothfuss, D-Laramie, would have imposed a 4 percent tax on individuals and corporations earning more than $200,000 a year.

But the bill was expected to affect only those making more than $350,000 a year - about 2,000 of the state's taxpayers - once other tax credits were applied.

It would have raised an additional $208 million in revenue for the Wyoming Department of Education's School Foundation Program annually.

House Bill 233 is a separate proposal from House Bill 220, which would tax large companies doing business in the state. Connolly's measure instead would have taxed personal and corporate incomes. Check out HD Rep19 Canny Eyre’s column on page 5 to see the details of HB 220.

And reported by WyoFile, Andrew Graham, “Despite the early endorsement of Republican leadership, property and sales tax bills appear dead in the water at the end of the third week of the 2019 legislative session.

The Travel, Recreation, Wildlife, Cultural Resources committee held a hearing on HB201 Tuesday morning, which would have allowed cities and counties to publish public notices on their own websites instead of (or) in a local newspaper. It failed 2-7. This keeps the public info in the public eye and accessible to everyone, whether they are computer literate or not.

The House will debate a will debate a bill that would require voters to present photo identification at the polls.

And these things, are just a minor portion of the work at the Legislature. Last Friday was the last day in which bills could be brought to the floor for debate, but there is a myriad of bills still on the floors of both Houses working their way through the Legislature.

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