LCCC Releases Brief on Tax Capacity in Wyoming

The Wyoming Center for Business and Economic Analysis at Laramie County Community College has released a report exploring tax and earnings capacity in Wyoming. Dr. Joe Schaffer, President of Laramie County Community College and Nick Colsch, Director of the Center and a member of the College's Economics faculty, published the policy brief titled, Tax Capacity in Wyoming: A comparison of taxation rates, earnings, and cost of living with surrounding and similar states.

This policy brief attempts to assess if there is capacity for the state to modify its existing tax rates to provide additional revenue to support its public and governmental services. This brief does not attempt to examine comprehensive tax reform, nor does it delve into the myriad of tax exemptions or other nuances of the tax structure currently established within statute and even the constitution.

The authors' conduct a comparative analysis between Wyoming's tax rates and individual/household earnings to those of two state groups: surrounding states to Wyoming and states without income taxes. Finally, the authors model revenue generation potential for Wyoming if the state emulated the current tax rates of its most relevant comparison states.

Results suggest there is capacity within Wyoming's current tax rates to be increased without placing the state outside of normal ranges for its likely comparator states. This capacity, should it be accessed, would generate significant additional revenue to help Wyoming deal with its current fiscal challenges and to fund public services.

The Wyoming Center for Business and Economic Analysis is a component of the School of Business, Agriculture and Technology at LCCC. The center, its faculty and students are working to examine current economic issues facing Wyoming and our future.