By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily
Wyoming’s sales and use tax collections in May increased by almost 14% over May of 2020, according to a state agency, due largely to a serious slump in collections one year ago caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The state Department of Administration and Information’s Economic Analysis Division, in its monthly report “Wyoming Insight,” said sales and use tax collections in May totaled about $55.5 million, an increase from May of 2020 of $6.7 million, or 13.7%.
Much of the increase was attributed to the fact that sales and use collections lagged in 2020 because of last year’s coronavirus pandemic.
“May 2020 is when statewide collections were at (their) lowest point during the pandemic,” the report said.
Teton County led the state for gains in sales and use tax collections, collecting $1.7 million in May, a 69.8% increase over figures from May 2020. Laramie County had the highest total tax collections in May at almost $2.4 million, a 32.5% increase.
Converse County’s sales and tax collections declined by almost $1.9 million in May compared to one year ago, 45.1%. Weston County had the highest percentage drop in collections, 46.1%, or $362,000.
“Wyoming Insight” provides monthly updates on the figures that indicate Wyoming’s economic health.
In addition to sales and tax use collection information, it provides data on mineral prices, the state’s cost of living and unemployment rates.
According to the report, the state’s mining industry continued to show the greatest losses in terms of total collections, almost $1.9 million in May compared to 2020, while the construction industry saw a decline in tax collections of 33% from 2020, $392,800.
However, the leisure and hospitality industry, hard hit by the pandemic-forced closures of 2020, saw sales and use tax collections increase by 73.4% in May from last year, $2.3 million.
The retail trade sector saw collection gains of almost $3.7 million in May over 2020, an increase of 17.6%.