Two bills proposing Wyoming’s first income taxes met with different fates on Friday in Wyoming’s House.
One bill proposing an income tax on individuals died in the House Revenue Committee, while another proposing a 7 percent tax on large out-of-state retailers doing business in Wyoming won approval in its final House review.
The individual tax bill, HB 233, would have imposed a 4 percent income tax on those making more than $200,000 per year.
Sponsor Rep. Cathy Connolly, D-Laramie, said she suggested the measure as a way to begin a discussion on a possible statewide income tax, especially given recommendations to remove the state’s sales tax exemption on food.
“Who should be paying that extra amount?” she said. “Is it the most vulnerable among us? Or is it those with the means to do so? So I want that conversation out there.”
Connolly said the bill would have raised $200 million a year for education.
The corporate tax bill, HB220, was moved out of the House on a vote of 44-14.
Also called the “National Retail Fairness Act,” the measure would impose a 7 percent income tax on large businesses whose headquarters are in other states.
Sponsors of the bill argue that large retailers, such as WalMart, charge the same for their products in Wyoming as they do in states with income taxes, such as Nebraska. Since the price of the income tax is built into the price of the product, that means Wyoming residents are helping to pay the income taxes charged in other states, backers argued.