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Do Wyoming’s billionaires help the state?

The answer is yes if we’re talking about bragging rights about how many we have. Only Colorado has more billionaires than Wyoming in the Mountain West, according to Forbes latest list of 2017 billionaires.

With no income tax, billionaires do not mean a lot more money for Cowboy State coffers. Wyoming also has no corporate or estate tax.

The Director of Wyoming Department of Revenue says that billionaires do benefit us depending on what high dollar things they buy here – paying sales and property tax. In 2017 Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank bought a ranch next his Wyoming home.

None of the billionaires who live in the state are true Wyomingites and, “Unfortunately for Wyoming,” says Forbes, “These aren’t people who build their fortunes in the state.”

All of this is not to say that billionaires aren’t very generous to Wyoming in their philanthropy. The late Forrest Mars  was called “irreplaceable.” The Mars company co-owners were appreciated for contributions to the Sheridan College and other projects and events in the Sheridan area. That long list includes Brinton Museum, the Mars Black Box Theater at the WYO, the M&M Center and the company's sponsorship of the Sheridan-WYO Rodeo for many years.

It may seem a bit ambitious to try answer this question. If no one can gauge just how much billionaires help Wyoming, we might agree it's safe to say, “They sure don’t hurt.”