aranderson wrote: ↑
Thu Feb 27, 2020 1:53 am
PokeNer wrote: ↑
Wed Feb 26, 2020 5:40 pm
WYO1016 wrote: ↑
Wed Feb 26, 2020 4:52 pm
PokeNer wrote: ↑
Wed Feb 26, 2020 4:05 pm
It's pretty sad that our legislature hasn't taken any of this seriously. We need to toll I-80, I think there was a study a few years back that determined over 90% of that traffic neither originates or ends in Wyoming. Toll it, and pass the buck on to the consumers who are using it to transport their goods - UT/CA/NV and the Eastern States.
It sounds like the proposed corporate tax wouldn't have hurt any Wyoming businesses; they were only going to tax entities that were taking money out of state. But again the legislature shot it down. They are all for small-government when it comes to taxes, but aren't afraid to keep growing when it involves over-reach or handouts.
The only thing the legislature has accomplished so far in this session was passing laws on abortion, allocating money for ranchers, and trying to prop up the dying coal industry (which is going to prove futile).
This is a pretty uninformed post. Let's take a look at what you said here.
"We need to toll I-80" - We already do. All commercial vehicle travel through the state pays a road use tax to the state. All tolling is going to do is have the trucking companies reroute and lose us money.
"It sounds like the proposed corporate tax wouldn't have hurt any Wyoming businesses" - Patently false. There is a reason this keeps getting shot down. It would cause a mass exodus of businesses that aren't headquartered in Wyoming. That means we lose jobs, which means we lose people, which means businesses lose money.
"The only thing the legislature has accomplished so far in this session was passing laws on abortion..." - While I do agree with you that the abortion bills are absolutely ridiculous, (we only have 2 abortion clinics in the state, and they're both in Jackson. All these laws do are drive women out of state to get the procedure done if they choose.) there's a lot of talk about increasing revenue and avoiding more cuts. Don't just pay attention to the negative news. Read the bills that are being heard. Look at the schedule to see what is being voted on.
I've spent more time on the Wyoming Legislature website this week than I really care to admit. What do you propose to raise revenue, if the State refuses to curtail spending? Look through the list of bills being debated and tell me how many actually address the most important issue to the long-term health of Wyoming?
Most citizens and the entire legislative body won't touch property tax or income tax with a 10' poll (and I don't want these either), so it has to come from somewhere. We can't continue to prop up industries that will be substantially diminished in the next decade or two. Coal is dying, and will be nearly fully dead soon. Natural gas is severely depressed due to a massive surplus. Oil is hanging on, but there has been a drastic switch in the past 4-5 years; investors on Wall Street aren't looking to oil and gas. Agriculture provides a minuscule amount to Wyoming's GDP. We need to be progressive, and it's not happening except for maybe the Blockchain and Hemp movement.
I don't want to become Montana or Colorado, but we can't become WV or the South either. If you look at the other RM states they are booming due to a shift to recreation, tourism, technology, etc.
I'm well aware that a substantial amount of dollars that are spent at the pump are taxes, but how many semis do you think drive right through the State without stopping for fuel? The only way to collect revenue on those situations is with a toll. If I remember correctly we run a severe deficit on maintenance costs of I-80 vs federal dollars received (it's been a while since I looked at this to verify).
I don't have the article handy, but there was analysis on the corporate tax bill, and it didn't sound like it would drive corporations out of Wyoming in droves. Do you think the Oil companies are going to stop drilling and making 20-50% ROR on wells because of a relatively small tax? Is Walmart just going to shut the doors? We'll probably have to agree to disagree on this one, cause I'm in the belief that the out-of-state entities are here to make big dollars and a corporate tax won't drive them away. I'm not a corporate accountant, but wouldn't these tax dollars be a write-off against the home state income tax?
I'm against new taxes, but the math is pretty simple. If you expenditures exceed your revenue, you're gonna go broke.
As a livestock hauler, I can attest to the road use taxes. You so not have to fuel in Wyoming to pay the taxes, you pay by the miles you drive on Wyoming highways, while it is however recommended to fuel and spend some money in Wyoming just for book purposes, we are required per the federal government to record mileage driven in each state, and each states tax is different. It is called "IFTA". Now I won't get overly detailed, but look it up, Wyoming is getting tax dollars no matter what from all commercial vehicles on all road through Wyoming, not just interstate highway travel.
I believe that is how Apportioning works. So yeah, Wyoming is getting lots of federal dollars to put towards highways. My concern is that it's not enough. I believe the last figure I saw is that it costs around $100 MM a year just to maintain I-80 in its current state (no improvements). We get ~$260 MM back from the Feds for all our highways/interstates. Once you start throwing repairs or improvements in, that $260 MM won't come close to covering expenditures.
It's hard for a State the size of Wyoming to maintain an interstate system, that primarily benefits other states, and keep a balanced budget. When you're talking $100s of millions of dollars that the State has to come up with to maintain a federal transportation system, it's easy to start running in the red and having to pull funds from accounts that would benefit our citizens much more than an interstate system. These are the big ticket items that our Legislature has to focus on.
It was discussed previously about how we really aren't running a deficit, which may be partially true for a couple years. However, it sounds like that was primarily due to unexpected returns on investments; that's also not wise to expect 15%+ returns year-after-year. I wonder how much the fund has lost in the last week due to the Coronavirus scare?
Until we can balance those side of things, it makes sense to not fund UW construction projects that are potentially considered a "luxury" by folks around the State.