By Cowboy State Daily
A corporate income tax could be seen in Wyoming under a bill that cleared its second vote in the House on Thursday.
Representatives voted in favor of HB 220 — also called the National Retail Fairness Act — to send it to a third and final House reading on Friday.
The bill would impose a 7 percent tax on companies that do business in Wyoming but are headquartered in other states, raising an estimated $45 million a year.
Bill sponsor Rep. Jerry Obermueller R-Casper, said Wyoming residents pay the same for items from large retailers, such as WalMart, as residents of Nebraska, which has an income tax. Because the income tax is built into the price of items, Wyoming residents are helping to pay Nebraska’s income tax, he said.
“We’re saying we’re paying the taxes in, we want the taxes back to build our roads and schools, not yours,” he said.
But Chris Brown, director of the Wyoming Lodging and Restaurant Association, said the tax could hurt the state’s hospitality industry.
He also questioned the speed with which the bill is moving through the legislative process, saying retail and hosptality industry representatives have not had chance to thoroughly review it.
The bill was introduced on Tuesday, was cleared in committee on Wednesday and went through its second reading Thursday.
“That’s unfortunate because it’s been limiting the ability for retail to get its grips around it and weigh in on it accurately,” he said.