Revenue Committee Discussing Direct Distribution Alternatives

Joint Revenue Interim Committee

The Wyoming Legislature's Joint Revenue Interim Committee is meeting in Buffalo this week, and on Thursday discussed possible changes in how the state distributes revenue to local governments.

The revenue committee is considering how to fund county and municipal governments by possibly changing how revenue is raised and then changing the models for distribution.
The model now uses property taxes, for the most part, to fund county government, while cities are funded mainly through sales taxes.
The state makes up the difference through reserves.

Testimony before the committee came from the Wyoming County Commissioners' Association (WCCA) that presented a number of ideas they said were groundwork for continuing discussions.
The ideas included increasing property and sales taxes and possibly reintroducing the sales tax on food in the state.

Representatives from the Wyoming Association of Municipalities (WAM) also spoke on the matter, saying they welcome new ideas to help in raising additional revenue, because at the current level of funding for local governments, there are many municipalities that are struggling.

The committee voted for the Legislative Service Office (LSO) to draft a bill for review at their next meeting that would raise the sales tax in the state by ½ a percentage point, and to continue the distribution of the additional funds to local governments using the existing model, with a cap on the distribution of the additional funds of $50 million.
Any additional funds raised would be put into the general fund, according to discussions.

Representative Cathy Connolly (D-Laramie) suggested the committee continue discussing the matter during their next meeting.

The committee voted to continue discussions at their November meeting.

The Joint Revenue Interim Committee meetings will continue Friday and wrap up in the afternoon.