The Following is a Press Release from the office of Representative Albert Sommers
With the goal of keeping more Wyoming tax dollars in Wyoming, House Bill 220, the National Retail Fairness Act was introduced in the Wyoming House of Representatives today. The legislation aims to impose a levy on the net income of large, out-of-state corporations, ultimately re-directing taxes currently being sent out of state back to Wyoming.
“Right now, 27 states tax the income businesses make in Wyoming,” said Senate President Drew Perkins. “That means the hard-earned money of Wyoming families is being used to pave roads in Arkansas and pay teachers in Hawaii. All this bill does is keep that money right here in Wyoming.”
“Large national retailers include their state income tax burden, which averages approximately seven percent, in the price of goods which is spread evenly throughout their customer base, including Wyoming customers,” said Representative Jerry Obermueller. “That means Wyoming residents are already paying a share of these taxes, despite the state not capturing a dime. HB 220 would make sure Wyoming benefits by claiming our portion of the tax.”
House Bill 220 would impose a seven percent tax, slightly below the national average rate of 7.12%, on the income of corporate retail, food services and accommodation vendors. The bill, modeled after similar laws in Alaska and North Dakota, would apply to large box chains and national companies that have more than 100 shareholders.
“This bill is about fairness and protecting Wyoming taxpayers, plain and simple,” said House Speaker Steve Harshman. “Taxes generated by Wyoming people ought to stay in Wyoming. House Bill 220 helps modernize Wyoming’s revenue stream without raising taxes on Wyoming people or small businesses. It’s all about solving problems.”
Speaker Harshman continued, “in Wyoming, the state government service most dependent on the price of energy is K-12 education. This bill smooths out that volatility by diversifying the sources of funding for education.”
According to the fiscal note prepared by the Legislative Service Office, HB 220 would generate $45 million per year starting in FY 2021 from large national retailers. Funding generated would be used to support education throughout Wyoming.
HB 220, spearheaded by Representative Jerry Obermueller, has garnered 21 cosponsors from both the House and Senate including nearly all of the Majority and Minority leadership from both chambers. Sponsors include Senate President Drew Perkins, House Speaker Steve Harshman, Senate Vice President Ogden Driskill, House Majority Floor Leader Eric Barlow, Speaker Pro Tempore Albert Sommers, House Majority Whip Tyler Lindholm. Chairmen of the House and Senate Revenue Committees, Representative Dan Zwonitzer and Senator Cale Case, respectively, Chairmen of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, Representative Bob Nicholas and Senator Eli Bebout, respectively, and Senate Minority Leader Chris Rothfuss and House Minority Leader Cathy Connolly are also bill sponsors.