Lodging Tax Bill Passes Wyoming House Monday
A bill that would impose a statewide lodging tax of five percent in Wyoming has passed the Wyoming House of Representatives and now moves on to the state Senate.
You can read House Bill 134 here.
The proposal passed the House on a 39-19 vote with two members absent. Governor Mark Gordon has said the lodging tax is the only tax being proposed in the 2020 session that he could support. While several other tax proposals have died in the 2020 session, including a pair of income tax proposals and a three-cent per gallon tax on fuel, the lodging tax so far appears to be bucking that trend.
Supporters of the measure say that it would collect roughly $20 million per year to promote Wyoming's travel industry. Tourism is the state's second-largest industry, behind only mining (including coal, oil, and gas). But opponents argue that the tax will actually hurt tourism by making visiting the state more expensive.
The House on Tuesday rejected a proposal by Rep. Chuck Gray [R-Natrona County] to exempt anyone who could produce a valid Wyoming I.D. from paying the tax. Opponents of Gray's amendment questioned whether it is constitutional.
Below is the listing of those who voted for and against the bill on third and final reading (not on Rep.Gray's amendment):
Ayes: BARLOW, BLAKE, BROWN, BURKHART, BURLINGAME, CLAUSEN, CLIFFORD, CONNOLLY, CRANK, DAYTON-SELMAN, DUNCAN, EKLUND, EYRE, FLITNER, FREEMAN, FURPHY, GREEAR, HALEY, KINNER, HARSHMAN, KIRKBRIDE, LARSEN LLOYD, MACGUIRE, NEWSOME, NICHOLAS, OBERMUELLER, OLSEN, PAXTON, PELKEY, POWNALL, ROSCOE, SCHWARTZ, SIMPSON, STITH, SWEENEY, WALTERS, WILSON, YIN, ZWONITZER
Nays: BLACKBURN, CLEM, EDWARDS, GRAY, HALLINAN, HUNT, JENNINGS, LAURSEN DAN, LINDHOLM, LOUCKS, MILLER, PIIPARINEN, SALAZAR, SOMMERS, STYVAR, TASS, WASHUT, WESTERN, WINTER