Legislative Bills Review, Take 2

Here are more bills for you to keep an eye on. Two of them raise taxes, one introduces more bureaucracy to manage current taxes and one - yes! - wants a little bit of relief from taxes. 

HB93 - Tourism districts. This sounds like the permission to build a Reeperbahn or Christiania in Wyoming. That is not the case, of course... 

This bill basically mimics SF16, the community development district bill, which also means that it creates a similar opportunity for local governments to circumvent voter opposition to higher taxes. A new "assessment" is going to levy a fee for a so-called tourism development district. It is unclear how this bill would work in conjunction with HB66, the lodging tax bill. 

HB95 - Excess tax revenue. What should government do if it collects "excess" tax revenue? Return it to taxpayers? Sorry. Not happening. This bill creates a formula for distribution of excess tax revenue. Essentially, it introduces a new bureaucratic procedure the sole effect is to make it harder for taxpayers to obtain transparency and control over their own tax money. This was probably not the intent behind the bill, but as is often the case in legislation, there are unintended consequences that can have effects opposite those that were intended.

HB96 - The wind tax. Higher taxes wind energy. If only we could tax hot air coming out of the legislature... 

HB97 - Tax exemption for broadband. Representative Lindholm et al want to exempt broadband infrastructure from sales and use taxes. Generally I disapprove of tax carve-outs - they create more economic distortions than they mitigate - but so long as the legislative leadership is committed to higher taxes, we need to take what we can and run with it. Kudos to Representatives Lindholm, Blackburn, Blake, Crank, Olsen, Sommers and Walters, and Senators Driskill and Hicks for sponsoring this bill.

That's all for now. More to come, of course. A lot more.

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