Statewide Lodging Tax in Media
With the failure of proposed license fee increases during last years legislative session, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department has been forced to cut positions and programs in order to keep up with the rising cost of annual operations.
This cutting will continue and will be significant if additional sustainable funding is not found.
There is no question that wildlife, both consumptive and non-consumptive, plays an important role in our states tourism industry. Hunters and anglers have shouldered the cost of funding the majority of Game and Fish through license fees historically. Now as the agency faces significant shortfalls, questions continue about how to have non-consumptive users contribute towards managing our state’s wildlife.
Unfortunately, one of the suggestions continues to be a statewide lodging tax. While this has not yet been publicly proposed at this year’s Travel, Recreation, Wildlife and Cultural Resources legislative committee meetings, the idea has been suggested in several editorials in the state’s largest newspapers.
While the WTIC has historically supported some of the Game and Fish initiatives and will continue to be a part of the discussion focused on sustainable funding, we strongly oppose the suggestion of a statewide lodging tax and will actively lobby against it. Less than 20% of the tourism dollar comes from the lodging industry and a statewide lodging tax would significantly threaten the existing and very successful local option lodging tax utilized in cities and counties across the state.
At our August board meeting the WTIC board of directors will discuss and strategize our position in advance of the TRW legislative meeting being held in Jackson later that month.
Please contact Chris Brown at email@example.com with comments, feedback or any additional local media focused on this issue.
For current WTIC talking points opposing a statewide lodging tax Click Here