Wyoming has a unique taxation system with the three main taxes being Property tax 36%, Sales tax 33% (General 27% and Selective 6%), and Severance Tax 25%. (2014 LSO report)
Most of the Property tax goes to County, City and other local tax districts.
I will not say I will never support a tax increase, but what I will say is that I will not support a tax increase on the Citizens of Wyoming unless –
(1) Everything possible has been done to maximize investment revenues from YOUR money and assets.
(2) Until tax fairness is accomplished. Millions of dollars are being lost every year because out of state corporations, businesses, and investors acquire large tracts of land or pay inflated prices and then apply for and get taxed as Agriculture land.
You pay Property taxes based on one of the three formulas.
Residential and Business property is based on:
FAIR MARKET VALUE x 9.5% x mill levies = tax
(re-determined Jan each year)
Industrial Property is based on:
FAIR MARKET VALUE x 11.5% x mill levies = tax
(re-determined Jan each year)
Agriculture land is based on:
Productive capability x 9.5% x mill levies = tax
(2016 valuation is $10 to $2480 per acre based on classification of Irrigated Cropland, Dry Cropland, Range Land)
I propose the following system:
Residential, Business, Industrial property remain exactly as they are.
Agriculture land that is owned, and operated by Wyoming residents that are actively engaged in its day to day operation would remain exactly the same.
Agriculture land that is owned by a Corporation, Partnership, LLC., individual, or other entity that is not a resident of Wyoming shall be treated as a business and taxed as a business.
Upon sale of land to another Corporation, Partnership, LLC., individual, or other entity that is not a resident of Wyoming the rate shall be set based on the actual sale price or FAIR MARKET VALUE, which ever is greater.
Agriculture land being taxed on FAIR MARKET VALUE shall be reassessed on Jan 1 each year the same as Residential, Business, or Industrial.
Upon sale of the land to a Wyoming resident that is actively involved in the day to day operation of the land it shall revert to taxation based on the productivity capability in effect at that time.
The general county portion of Agriculture land taxed on FAIR MARKET VALUE shall split between the county and municipalities of the county using the same formula as the optional “5th cent sales tax”.
This would generate over $7 million in revenues in Park County alone that can be used as Tax relief to YOU.
Your Representative supported a tax break for those paying up to $250,000 an acre for land (Cody Enterprise Apr 4, 2017). Instead of paying taxes based on the fair market value, which they established – like You do on your home or business – they only have to pay on a taxable value of between $14 and $2480. (2017 SF148) That is at least a 99% reduction in property tax – Did YOU get that?
After giving the tax breaks to the ultra wealthy, Your Representative voted to tax Your out of state internet purchases. (2017 HB 19) (Powell Tribune May 1, 2018)
I would not support this tax on Your out of state purchases because I believe that sales taxes in general are regressive and impact those least able to afford it. You the average taxpayer are already paying a disproportionate amount of tax.
I strongly oppose any effort to remove the Sales Tax exemption for your food and groceries. While your food is currently exempt, the Wyoming Association of Municipalities (WAM) has a resolution (#4) already requesting a bill in the 2019 Legislature to remove that exemption. Your Representative also put this plan forward in discussions of school funding.
Your prescription medications are exempt from sales tax, but not your non-prescription medications. I will fight to make all medications, treatments, and devices exempt from sales taxes because the State should not be taxing YOUR illness or medical condition.
Your current Representative voted to increase your vehicle registration 67% (2017 HB 0218)
and your Drivers license 100% (2017 HB 219).
While increasing YOUR taxes, your Representative sponsored legislation to exempt rodeo tickets from sales tax (2016 HB 157), benefiting mainly out of state visitors.
Your Representative also voted against requiring people getting resident hunting and fishing licenses to register their vehicles in Wyoming (2016 HB 112).
In 2015 three major coal companies filed for bankruptcy. Wyoming taxpayers lost over $4.4 million in ad valorem taxes owed to counties because state law allows the tax to be paid annually instead of monthly.
YOUR Legislature has known of this problem for over 3 years, yet they have failed to take action to protect the Wyoming taxpayers.
In October 2018 Westmoreland Coal filed for bankruptcy owning $9 to $11 million in ad valorem taxes to Wyoming taxpayers.
Your Representative and Legislature has ignored a known problem and placed the interests of out of state corporations ahead of protecting Wyoming Tax dollars and citizens.
Every year there will be bills to increase taxes on You. Every year there will be bills to decrease taxes on big out of state interests.
I will never support increasing YOUR taxes so that others taxes can be reduced.