Wyoming Corporate Income Tax Bill Dies in Committee
A bill proposing Wyoming’s first corporate income tax was tabled in committee Tuesday, signaling the end of the measure for the 2019 legislative session.
House Bill 220, the National Retail Fairness Act, would have imposed a 7 percent tax on corporations in the retail and hospitality industries, laying claim to a portion of each business’s adjusted federal tax income.
Sponsored primarily by Rep. Jerry Obermueller, R-Casper, HB220 was introduced in the Senate in late January and was referred to the Senate Corporations Committee on Feb. 7.
According to a report by KGAB, Committee Chairman Bill Landen, R-Casper, tabled the measure without discussion Tuesday night.
No Corporations Committee meetings are scheduled today, Feb. 20, which is also the cutoff date for committees to approve bills for the 2019 legislative session.
Effectively, HB220 is dead.
The National Retail Fairness Act was projected to generate an additional $45 million that would have been deposited in the state’s school foundation fund.
However, the measure received staunch opposition from state retail, lodging, and restaurant associations, which beguiled the state with accusations of unfairness.
The Wyoming Retail Association (WRA) and the Wyoming Lodging and Restaurant Association (WLRA) openly stated their opposition to HB220 in a joint press release.
Chris Brown, WRA executive director, argued that the bill singled out a small, specific corner of the retail and hospitality industry.
Indeed, HB220 would have imposed the 7 percent corporate income tax on corporations that could boast more than 100 shareholders, while at the same time exempting smaller businesses with fewer shareholders.
“This is a new tax with potential unintended consequences and enormous implications,” Brown said in a statement.
Such a tax could hurt consumers in Wyoming, Brown argued, and increase the costs of everyday items.
Brown called upon the legislature to shift their focus to options that were inclusive, fair, equitable, and thoroughly vetted.
Despite such opposition, however, the legislature showed strong support for the measure as it passed the House 44-14 last month.
Reps. Scott Clem and Roy Edwards, both R-Gillette, were among those to oppose HB220 in the House.