Kudos to Ashley Harpstreith and the Wyoming Taxpayers Association (WTA) for the first sensible words on Wyoming tax policy in Cowboy State Daily yet this year.
I have always been a strong proponent of high taxes on minerals; we get only one chance at turning those assets into cash for the future. But the temptation to use a substantial portion of these revenues to meet current needs, rather than save, has proven too much for a majority of supposedly budget-conscious legislators over the years.
Consequently, here in our state of “rugged individuals,” we have fostered a multi-generational dependence on someone else paying the bills.
As the WTA points out, Wyomingites receive state services far in excess of what can be funded by the taxes they pay. Wyoming also is one of the states that receives more in federal funds than are paid in federal taxes by its residents.
Moreover, the preference for sales taxes over property taxes – and the exclusion of services from sales taxes – means that Wyomingites with the lowest incomes pay the most in taxes, as a percent of their incomes.
I understand that tax policy is not as sexy as sex, but if the majority of legislators would give the same attention to economic issues as they do to trying to control everyone’s sexual activities, sexual preferences, access to accurate information about sex, sex-related medical care, etc., etc., etc., we all would be way better off.
Sarah Gorin, Laramie