Wyoming Governor Doesn’t Expect New Property Or Sales Taxes
The governor, speaking on KGAB-AM Radio in Cheyenne on Tuesday, said one reason why he doesn't expect new property or sales taxes to be imposed by the legislature is that the state economy has been improving over the past year.
Crude oil prices have been hovering in the low to mid $60 a barrel range in recent weeks, about $12-$15 higher than they were in January of 2017. Natural gas prices have also increased since last month, although the long-term price of gas hasn't been as consistently strong as have oil prices.
The governor also said the largest challenge for balancing the budget going forward will continue to be paying for education. He says in terms of standard government operations, "we're in pretty good shape."
Governor Mead said the second factor that tends to work against property or sales tax increases is that fact that Wyoming budget reserve or ''rainy day fund'' is proportionally one of the largest in the country compared to the overall state budget.
The governor said that if any new taxes are approved by lawmakers in the upcoming session he thinks they would most likely be lodging and/or tobacco tax increases.
But Governor Mead did hedge slightly on his predictions, saying lawmakers could "prove me wrong."
The 20-day budget session of the Wyoming Legislature is scheduled to convene on Feb. 12 in Cheyenne. While non-budget items can be considered by lawmakers, a 2/3 majority vote is required for their introduction.