Cheyenne Business Leader: Taxes Aren’t The Answer
Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Dale Steenbergen says he hopes the state doesn't try to tax it's way out of budget challenges caused by declining revenues.
With state revenues in decline because of low energy prices, Steenbergen says there will be a temptation to raise taxes to try to pay for various state programs, which he says just transfers the burden from the government to the private sector. He says that would be a mistake in view of the already shaky state economy.
Steenbergen says if the choice comes down to raising taxes or not funding various programs, then "we're going to have to find some things we don't pay for."
Steenbergen says instead of tax increases state lawmakers need to look at ways to increase efficiency and implement more spending cuts.
Democrats in the 2016 Wyoming legislative budget session warned of spending cuts that they say are going beyond cutting waste and excess and hurting vital state programs.
Governor Matt Mead said recently the state faces a "crisis situation" in terms of education funding.
Meanwhile, State Superintendent Jillian Balow said earlier this week that there "is no easy way" out of the state's current budget challenges.
Balow says she thinks lawmakers will look at both tax increases and spending cuts as well as "new revenue streams" as "things that will be on the table" for dealing with declining state revenues.