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Proposed Wyo. budget promotes economic growth

Gov. Gordon floats $20 million in property tax relief to prime pump.

Farm Press Staff

November 28, 2023

3 Min Read
A farm in Wyoming
A farm in Wyoming.Tim Hearden

Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon wants to prime the pump in what he expects to be a season of declining state revenue by providing $20 million in expanded property tax relief and bolstering energy spending in his proposed state budget.

The Republican governor says he is anticipating the end of federal stimulus funding by submitting a conservative ledger for the next biennium.

“It focuses on needs and not wants, but addresses the pressing challenges of today –  a continuously overreaching federal government; workforce shortages; inflation; an unacceptably high suicide rate; and property tax relief for the truly needy,” he said.

Gordon is set to deliver his budget to the Wyoming Legislature’s Joint Appropriations Committee on Dec. 12.

“Wyoming has been fortunate to be the beneficiary of high natural gas prices and an influx of federal funds since the pandemic,” Gordon said. “However, now we must adapt to the absence of those federal dollars and the impact to our ongoing spending. It requires us to make difficult decisions about meaningful programs, and to determine how we are going to address our current challenges as well as the needs of future generations.”

The Governor proposes allocating funding to address the changes affecting Wyoming’s energy industry, programs to support workforce development and economic diversification and addressing the state’s mental health crisis. These expenditures include:

  • $20 million to expand the Property Tax Refund program to provide additional targeted relief to Wyoming homeowners.

  • Funding for community mental health centers and youth services mental health providers as well as expansion of the 988 suicide prevention hotline capacity to add text and chat services.

  • Continued support for the expansion of the Wyoming Innovation Partnership to enhance the workforce in support of economic development. 

  • Increased spending authority for the Federal Natural Resources Planning Account (FNRPA) to defend Wyoming interests in court.

Energy programs

Gordon’s planned spending in the energy and natural resources arena includes an extension of the Governor’s Energy Matching Fund program, and support for approaches to use and store carbon dioxide, so that Wyoming’s coal mines can continue to produce and supply reliable, dispatchable power.

“We continue to be challenged by a federal government whose executive policies are holding back our most profitable industries like oil and gas and coal that have done so much to fund our schools, our programs, and our abilities to meet the needs of Wyoming citizens,” Governor Gordon said. “In totality, this budget proposes living within our means, not just in this biennium, but in those to come. It keeps ongoing spending at a level we can sustain.”

His proposals come as the governor has taken heat in his own party over a stated goal to make Wyoming “carbon negative” through renewable energy production and enhanced carbon storage. He is burgeoning his credentials in one of the nation’s leading coal-producing states by pushing back on a federal rule for how states are to develop plans required under the Clean Air Act for certain existing sources.

He is also touting a legal victory for Wyoming in a 2022 lawsuit by environmental groups that challenged an oil and gas project. U.S. District Court judge Tanya S. Chutkan – who is presiding over the criminal trial of former President Donald Trump over the 2020 election aftermath -- denied a request for a preliminary injunction to stop the Converse County Oil and Gas Project and dismissed five of six claims brought by the plaintiffs.

Source: Office of Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon

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