Wyoming: Stop Leaving Money on the Table

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Karen Kraut headshot"Imagine this: your state has the option of reducing its residents’ combined federal tax bills by hundreds of millions of dollars a year and, at the same time, substantially reducing state taxes for almost 80 percent of its residents ... but then chooses not to do so.

Remarkably, that’s exactly what Wyoming and six other states are doing. Wyoming, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington are opting out of a state tax reform that would make those significant benefits to taxpayers possible.

Like the other six states, Wyoming raises revenue by relying heavily on sales taxes instead of levying a personal state income tax. Those two revenue approaches combined create a lose-lose situation for most Wyomingites.

Low- and middle-income residents lose because they end up paying significantly more of their income in total state taxes than do high-income taxpayers. And residents who itemize their federal tax returns lose the "bang for the buck" on the deduction for state tax payments (the "federal offset"), thereby missing an opportunity to export a more substantial part of their state tax load to the federal government. [...]"

Read the full column by Karen Kraut in the Casper Star-Tribune


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