Revenue Committee Meeting Public Comment Opportunity

ALERT!!

Next week’s Revenue Committee meeting  is the most important before the legislative session in January.

Comment Deadline, 5PM, Wednesday, November 18

Next Thursday and Friday, November 19 and 20, one of the most important Wyoming Legislature Committee meetings will be held.  It is the Revenue Committee.  During this time of big budget cuts to our schools and other government services, the actions of this committee are of paramount importance.  One bill is of particular importance.  This  is bill 21LSO-0144, the Wyoming Income Tax Act.  It would impose a 4% tax on any taxable income above $200,000.  This includes both corporations and individuals.  There would be zero taxes on incomes below $200,000.  This tax would affect about 2% of people in Wyoming.  It would raise approximately $115 million a year at a time when our state is facing but cuts to our schools and other state services including roads, police, parks etc.  Our state budget dilemma is clear and immediate during the 2021 legislative session  The school re calibration committee has already approved a bill that would result in significant cuts to our schools.  No one likes taxes, but our fossil fuel taxes which have supported Wyoming for a very long time are being permanently and significantly reduced.  If we don’t have other revenue streams our state and its citizens, including our children, will suffer a large reduction in our quality of education, infrastructure, security and other amenities we currently enjoy.

Kansas enacted severe tax cuts in 2012.  This lead to a huge budget shortfall in 2017 with big cuts to education, roads, bridges and other services in 2017.  This situation resulted in “an ongoing atmosphere of fiscal crisis”, three credit downgrades and missed state payments.  There was huge political upheaval in Kansas and a wave of moderate Republicans replaced the conservative Republicans who had advocated these state tax and budget cuts.  The Kansas Supreme Court ordered the state legislature to increase funding to public schools by $293 million over two years.  The Republican governor was replaced by a Democrat.  This whole situation caused enormous suffering and conflict in Kansas.  Do we really want Wyoming to follow Kansas’ path??

The committee meeting will be live streamed.  These committee meeting discussions are actually very interesting.  You can just submit written comments or request to make comments at the committee meeting on Zoom.

Here is the link for the meeting information:

https://www.wyoleg.gov/Committees/2020/J03

Here is the link for how to comment

https://www.wyoleg.gov/Committees/About

This is the most important Committee Meeting before the legislative session to begin in January 2021.  Please tell these committee members about your view on this important issue and proposed legislation.  Our state and children’s future depends on it.

 

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