Governor Matt Mead Not Ready for Tax Increases Despite Coal Drop
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Governor Matt Mead says he's not ready to support tax increases to cover what state analysts say will likely be a steep decline in coal revenues over the coming years.
State financial analysts warn that state coal revenues are likely to fall from nearly $740 million in the two-year funding cycle that covered 2013-14 down to just $26 million in the 2019-2020 funding cycle. The state has relied heavily on coal revenues to fund schools.
Senate President Phil Nicholas of Laramie has suggested the Legislature consider tax increases to cover the expected shortfall.
Mead is scheduled to present his draft budget for the coming two-year funding period to state lawmakers on December 7. In anticipation of falling state revenues, he has imposed a state hiring freeze and ordered cost-cutting measures.