Tax Reform 2000
What is Tax Reform 2000?
Tax Reform 2000 is a report that was commissioned by the Wyoming State Legislature in Senate Enrolled Act No. 56, which was adopted in 1997. The report's stated goal was "to recommend standards and options for developing a fair, viable and economically competitive state and local tax structure capable of generating sufficient revenues to meet expected needs of the 21st century."
Tax Reform 2000 focused on fixing some of the fundamental problems with Wyoming's tax structure, and how to make it more equitable, stable and balanced. It found that Wyoming's tax structure was regressive because of its dependence on mineral markets and unbalanced because minerals paid the majority of taxes in the state of Wyoming.
A detailed list of Tax Reform 2000's Findings and Recommendations can be found here: Tax Reform 2000 Findings and Recommendations
What Were Tax Reform 2000's goals?
Tax Reform 2000 had 8 comparison criteria for Wyoming's tax structure.
- Be accountable to taxpayers.
- Rely on a balanced variety of revenue sources that will provide income to the state in a reliable manner.
- Treat individuals and businesses equitable, imposing similar tax burdens on people and businesses in similar circumstances and minimizing regressivity.
- Be framed in such a way to enhance economic development efforts. The tax structure should attract and not deter businesses seeking to move into the state or desiring to stay in Wyoming.
- Be composed of elements that support the ability of local governments to raise revenue to meet their needs.
- Be easy to understand and administer, and therefore easy for the taxpayer to comply with as well as for the administrator to implement the system.
- Be responsive to interstate and international economic competition and to changes in business.
- Minimize its involvement in spending and land use decisions.
More Information on the criteria can be found here: Tax Reform 2000 Revenue Criteria
What Reforms Were Accomplished?
Some of the reforms accomplished after the Tax Reform Committee include:
- More revenue is now diverted to the Permanent Mineral Trust Fund, and the fund is now managed to maximize revenue.
- Property Tax relief programs for low or fixed income households have been created.
- Limits on the number of mills taxing districts can levy have been created.
- There is now a uniform system for property assessment across the state.
- Local governments are allowed another optional penny of sales and use tax.
- The sales tax on food has been removed.