It is always amusing to read people’s letters bleating for a state income tax.
41 states have an income tax and with the exception of two or three states, all are in the red, including our neighbors to the north and south. Connecticut was the last state to enact an income tax to balance their budget, and they have been in the red ever since.
For 50 years, Wyoming has had a golden goose of revenue from severance taxes and if our governors and legislators had shown some fiscal restraint and discipline, we would be sitting on a mountain of capital in savings with interest. But instead the legislators went the drunken sailor route and expanded the state government far beyond what was necessary, added new departments, hired too many school administrators, built Taj Majhals, called schools at 300 to 400 dollars per square foot, which we couldn’t afford to maintain after construction.
I don’t think the working people of Wyoming should pay for their mistakes, greed and desire for power. Writers talk about the people paying their fair share, but never put a dollar amount on it. I have paid my fair share to Wyoming and here’s how I did it. My wife and I decided to private school our children, which can be done very economically and affordable. By doing that, we saved the State of Wyoming over 700,000 dollars, by not using the state schools. The tax advocates have a long way to go to catch up with me. A few months ago, I discovered that Wyoming has over 5,000 non profits in the state. Non-profits exist on “unearned income” or donations. Instead of taxing the “earned income” of the working people, let’s start taxing the “unearned income” of non-profits. Wyoming could just take about 10% of what’s in their bank accounts for starters and see how far that goes. There are some pretty wealthy non-profits in Wyoming. You do understand that there is no such thing as a “Non Profit” entity in reality. They are simply non taxable entities, but non-profit sounds so-much-more politically correct and socially acceptable.
I agree 100% that we should not institute an income tax, but I’d say we should not institute any new taxes. Wyoming doesn’t have a revenue problem. Wyoming has a spending problem. Wyoming spends more per capita and has more government employees per capita than any state in the union. There are so many cuts we could make that nobody, but the government employees would feel.
One of the big wastes is education administration. I believe Wyoming spends more on administration, at the state, county, and school level, than they do on teachers. That is wrong! Natrona County actually has a marketing manager (forget official name). Therefore our tax dollars are going to pay a high paid employee to spend more of our tax dollars to convince us that it is good if government takes even more tax dollars. That is sick. It should be illegal to spend tax dollars to brag about government services or to push for more government spending, taxing, or regulations.
All handouts to businesses, in the guise of economic stimulus, should be ended instantly.
There is so much more that could be cut.
ChristyK – thank you! This from ‘Investopedia’ -tax rates by state, “In 2018, at $16,224 per pupil, Wyoming was one of the highest spenders on education in the western U.S., second only to Alaska,” and it’s all our fancy new schools and administration … not teacher salaries.