Revenue-reducing measures typically outnumber state-income producers by a wide margin during a Wyoming legislative session, but the ratio is reversed this year.
Wyoming’s mineral-dependent tax structure has long ensured that economic diversification produces a net loss for the state. The pandemic-inspired work-from-home movement is exacerbating the problem.
West Virginia’s politics and economy look a lot like Wyoming’s, but it’s fiscal profile is much healthier because of diversification.
An internal memo to the Legislature from its fiscal analysts anticipates $555 million to $2.8 billion in lost revenues from COVID-19 and an oil price war. “Armageddon,” in the words of one lawmaker.
With direct tax increases defeated once again, prominent House lawmakers are pushing revenue switches and a conditional sales tax increase to confront looming fiscal cliff.