This Article is a Portion of the “Legislative Session in Review with your Local Chamber.”
Steenbergen expressed concern for some overly broad tax relief proposals because they provided no means for already frugal local governments to recoup lost revenue. The Legislature passed a constitutional amendment to revamp how residential property taxes are assessed. However, the proposal still has to be decided by state voters in 2024.
“We aren’t necessarily against tax relief, but we are very dependent in Wyoming on how our tax system works,’’ he said. “It’s very frugal in nature, and so residential property tax, if you reduce that significantly, that slack is going to have to be picked up somewhere. So, we want to be very careful and strategic about how we do that. If business is going to be asked to pick that up, how’s that going to be put into place?’’
“If you change the tax structure dramatically in times of plenty, when we get to those times of leanness again it’s going to really cause some problems I think,’’ Steenbergen added. “So we urge caution approaching those issues.’’
Rep. Dan Zwonitzer said the session, which ended March 3, passed a solid budget that restored some previous cuts in safety net programs, increased support for low-income families, secured money for capital construction projects and still managed to pad state savings by more than $1 billion.