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Wyoming’s manufacturing industry will see continued tax savings that help promote economic diversity with the extension of the manufacturing machinery sales and use tax exemption. Signed into law by Governor Matt Mead on March 9, the law extends the sales tax exemption, originally scheduled to expire on December 31, 2017, to December 31, 2027.
Given Wyoming’s economic forecast, there is pressure to supplement the revenue stream by increasing taxes and cutting spending. At the same time, there is an urgent need to diversify the economy beyond its historic reliance on oil and gas. Under the exemption, purchases of capital equipment used in the manufacturing processes are not subjected to sales and use taxes – that generates considerable savings to fund upgrades, expansions, or facilitate the startup of new operations. Over the last 13 years, the exemption has helped Wyoming manufacturing to become one of the top five industry contributors to Wyoming’s GDP, along with mining, oil and gas, and tourism. The exemption also allows Wyoming manufacturers to remain competitive with companies in other states, of which 42 have no sales tax at all or a similar exemption.
The Alliance of Wyoming Manufacturers (AWM) effectively championed the bill, aligning industry leaders and resources together, and sharing a positive voice for change in the state’s manufacturing industry. Working together on legislative changes, like the sales tax exemption, manufacturers can ensure the future of an industry that is critical to Wyoming’s economy, providing good paying jobs and attracting significant private sector investment.
Holland & Hart’s Wyoming Director of Government Affairs Bob Jensen is a respected leader in the Wyoming business community and was instrumental in founding the AWM. If you are interested in learning more about AWM’s mission and goals please visit their website or contact: AWM at Info@wyomanufacturing.com.
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By Jim Neiman, Neiman Enterprises
It is no secret that Wyoming is in the midst of a difficult financial crisis. It seems that every day we open the paper and read about additional layoffs, more budget shortfalls for our state and local governments, and more negative news about the status of our economy. When over 70% of the state revenue comes from the natural resource sector, falling commodity prices hit all of us hard. Faced with these difficult times, it is more important now than ever that Wyoming promote policies and tax structures that allow our existing businesses to compete and provide good paying jobs in Wyoming.
If Wyoming is serious about diversifying its economy and providing some protection from the boom and bust cycles of our energy industries, it should look to the manufacturing sector. For the last decade, growth of manufacturing as a percentage of state GDP has consistently outpaced other economic sectors and manufacturing industries have continued to grow at a faster pace than the overall private sector economy. This growth is in large part attributable to Wyoming’s tax structure that put Wyoming on at least an even playing field with neighboring states. This tax structure allowed capital investment to be deployed in Wyoming and allowed us to be competitive with Colorado, Utah, South Dakota and other states. By growing the manufacturing sector, Wyoming is in a better position today than it would have otherwise been had it not decided to compete with the other states for this business.
The top manufacturing entities in Wyoming have banded together to create a new political and policy alliance to support measures and legislative actions that enhance and promote manufacturing in Wyoming. The Alliance of Wyoming Manufacturers (the Alliance) is a recently formed not-for-profit corporation that serves as a voice for the manufacturing industry in matters of legislation and regulation that impact member businesses in Wyoming.
The Alliance will advocate for legislation and regulation that enhances the ability for manufacturing companies to flourish in Wyoming and against increases in taxes and regulations that hurt the ability of manufacturers to contribute to Wyoming’s economy.