Big Energy a catalyst in tax collection swings

WYOMING A review of annual tax revenue compiled by Wyoming’s Economic Analysis Division reveals the state benefited by more than $1 billion dollars in sales and use tax collection during the fiscal year 2019, a nearly 12% uptick from the previous year.

But according to a report from Casper Star-Tribune, two years of financial advances still fail to equalize Wyoming’s past economic woes.

“Even with the two consecutive fiscal years of increases, the amount of total sales and use taxes for fiscal year 2019 was about 5% lower than that of fiscal year 2015, before the economic downturn in the state,” stated Wenlin Liu, chief economist at the Economic Analysis Division.

Collection of sales and use tax, which rests at a general 4% depending upon locally imposed additions, is deemed to billow with Wyoming’s economic winds.

Growth over fiscal 2019 is reportedly owed in part to oil exploration and increased active drilling to the state’s east. Production rose 18% and the mining industry writ-large saw a nearly 20% expansion while taxes imposed on field purchases related to that growth, such as equipment and supplies, yielded high returns for Wyoming.

Greater than 90% of Cowboy State counties experienced sales and use tax growth. The largest example among those was Converse County which saw a 53% increase over 2018 in collected taxes.

That said, recent economic currents have not all been fair-winds. Competition from outside the state’s borders spurred an 11% dip in 2019 natural gas production. And tax collection did slump 17% in Sublette County where Ultra Petroleum, one of the largest energy producers and taxpayers in Wyoming, announced in September it would suspend drilling activity for the foreseeable future.


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