Taxes, spending, incentives, transparency
Not a bad song by Madonna from 1985. My Grandmother once told me that “I don’t love money, but I have a damn healthy respect for it.” We spend most of our time in Government discussing and working on who gets money, who gets money taken away, who will be rewarded financially for their activities and who will be punished. In Wyoming we have decided that “diversity” is the key to our future and that if you are a business that represents this diversity the rewards will be rich. Unfortunately, it often comes at the cost of another business sector. More importantly if you were paying attention in freshman economics class you learned companies don’t pay taxes people do.
It might get charged to a company, but the ultimate cost is paid by consumers. This year during the legislative session HB 220 had a lot of beginning support. It was presented in an innocent context that assumed all the money paid because of the tax would be reclaimed from big box stores known for taking money out of our state. Unfortunately, the lesson about who pays taxes was temporarily lost. Additionally, if a tax is warranted in our state then shouldn’t it be broad based and fair to all concerned. Its all too convenient to pick on one business segment. It always seems great to tax the other guy.
We do live in a material world for better or worse. We want our people and our state to be successful and we want to pay for good schools, good roads, etc. It’s a discussion we need to have in our state. What do we want and how are we going to pay for it?
Your Chamber is responding to this challenge by addressing the entire issue. We have a newly formed Taskforce whose job it is to make recommendations and ultimately policy positions on tax structure, incentive structure and transparency of both. This is an important issue with future implications of our state. We intend to attack the topic armed with our business principles demanding a fair, transparent and broad-based tax system benefiting all business rather than picking winners and losers. Stay tuned as we tackle this important topic.
Stay tuned for more information on the outcomes from the Taskforce. In the meantime, we encourage you all to join the Action & Advocacy Committee. The recommendations from the Taskforce will be discussed during this meeting. It takes place monthly on the first Tuesday of the month at 11:46 a.m. at Wyoming Bank & Trust Yellowstone Branch. No RSVP needed, attend if you are able. We would love to have you.