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Wyoming corporate income tax comes and goes without a vote, despite interim hype
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Wyoming corporate income tax comes and goes without a vote, despite interim hype

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Big Box Stores

Black Friday shoppers line up outside Best Buy at Casper's Eastridge Mall in November 2011. A bill that would have created a corporate income tax targeted at large, out-of-state retailers will not be voted on this legislative session.

CHEYENNE — After a year of work, legislation to introduce a corporate income tax — a source of significant controversy in the past year — will not be heard in the 2020 legislative session, House Speaker Steve Harshman confirmed in an interview Friday morning.

Sponsored by Rep. Jerry Obermueller, R-Casper, the bill would have levied an income tax on publicly traded companies with more than 100 shareholders, an effort, he said, to extract revenues from big box stores like Walmart that he believed could absorb the costs due to their national pricing models.

Critics, however, speculated the legislation — which would have raised about $20 million per year — could potentially lead to increased prices, lost jobs or store closures. Others called the legislation unworkable, saying that it unfairly created divisions between publicly traded chains and large private companies, which they said would be given unfair advantage under the bill.

The pressure that elicited was enough to keep the bill off the floor this year, though Obermueller said he is willing to revisit the conversation.

“The timing isn’t right this session,” he said in a text message. “But I will keep working on all issues that address the changing times in Wyoming and our overreliance on energy producers.”

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Politics Reporter

Nick Reynolds covers state politics and policy. A native of Central New York, he has spent his career covering governments big and small, and several Congressional campaigns. He graduated from the State University of New York at Brockport in 2015.

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