By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily
While sales for most of Wyoming’s industries declined in the second quarter of the year year, recorded online sales actually went up, due largely to a change in tax rules, according to a state agency.
The Wyoming Department of Administration and Information, in its quarterly report on the state’s economic conditions, said taxable sales across the state declined by almost 13% from the second quarter of 2019.
However, sales in the retail sector in the period from April through June actually increased by 6% over the same period last year, the report said, due largely to new laws requiring the collection of sales taxes on online sales. The department uses tax collections to monitor sales.
“This increase was mostly attributed to the increasing amount of submission from remote sellers, which is a result of a new legislation on collections of sales tax by marketplace facilitators,” the report said.
Overall, taxable sales in the state declined during the quarter by 12.8% from the same period one year ago to total $4.1 billion, the report said.
The largest reduction in sales was in the state’s mining industry, where the purchases of equipment, supplies and services fell by 53%.
“(This) was the largest year-over-year drop since the first quarter of 2016 — middle of the previous turndown,” the report said.
Sales in the leisure and hospitality industry dropped by 34.6%, the report said, while sales in the manufacturing and financial services sector fell by about 20%.
More than half the state’s counties saw declines in taxable sales during the period, the report said, with Sublette County seeing a 61.3% drop.
But Carbon County’s taxable sales more than doubled over last year’s figures.
“Carbon County experienced the largest growth of 108.6%, mostly reflecting a boost in activities of a wind power project,” the report said.