“STUDY” Says Wyoming Can Afford Higher Taxes
According to a study by Laramie County Community College’s Center for Business and Economic Analysis, Wyoming residents can afford to pay more in taxes. It sites the state’s already-low tax burden and relatively inexpensive cost of living.
The study argues that the Wyoming government can bring in $800 million in new revenues and still remain competitive with other states that have higher taxes but have seen growth at the same time.
But let's consider the source of this "STUDY." This "research" was done by people who make their living through taxes.
They point out that Wyoming has both a lower cost of living as well as lower taxes than most states. You can see the comparisons here.
The study also misses part of the point and the reasons why Wyoming lawmakers have not raised taxes but continued to look for spending cuts.
Wyoming has the smallest population of any state in America, yet, per capita has had one of the largest governments in America.
Back in 2019 USA TODAY ran a story showing the shocking size of government in what is supposed to be one of the most conservative states.
Wyoming ranks #2 per capita in the size of government. (USA TODAY).
• State and local gov't. GDP per capita: $7,415
• Total GDP per capita: $66,413 (8th highest)
• State and local gov't. employees: 21.1% of the workforce (the highest)
• Median household income: $60,434 (19th highest)
The size of Wyoming's government was only possible due to the amount of money Coal Gas and Oil brought in. With those industries now in trouble, the state, as well as local governments, have no choice but to bring the size of Wyoming governments in the state down to something more reasonable.
While they are still struggling with the concept of what the proper role of government should be most Wyoming lawmakers do realize that the question of if Wyomingites can afford more taxes is not where their focus should lie.
The question is not if the people can afford to have more of their money taken from them. The question is, should they?
The money that a person earns belongs to the person who earned it. Government should take as little as possible.