1% Tourism Tax for Sustainable and Competitive Growth
A constricted energy industry, resulting in declining state revenues and unaddressed plans for funding public education continue to put pressure on Wyoming’s General Fund revenues—currently the only funding source for the Wyoming Office of Tourism (WOT). During the past two legislative sessions alone, WOT has endured a 13.5 percent budget reduction and ranks 31st in marketing in the U.S., falling behind Montana, Utah, Colorado and South Dakota—each of which have dedicated funding sources. If we do not address funding challenges during the upcoming legislative session, Wyoming will continue to see negative impacts deepen across our travel industry and continual erosion in our ability to effectively compete for visitors among other destinations.
To tackle this budgetary issue, it’s imperative that we establish a long-term sustainable funding option for WOT. After considerable examination, a cross section of hospitality industry leaders in Wyoming reached consensus on a preferred funding model to be explored and presented to the Wyoming Legislature. Wyoming’s travel industry is proposing a one percent tax be added to all purchases within the leisure and hospitality sector (the 7000 series). By leveraging this tax, a dedicated funding source will be in place to support our state’s domestic and international marketing efforts. This will result in continued, long- term growth of Wyoming’s visitor economy—an economy that continually ranks as one of the leading generators of sales and use tax in Wyoming and is essential to communities and our workforce. Supporting this self-sustaining funding strategy is supporting Wyoming.
Industry talking points here.