Bill Could Decrease Lodging Tax Dollars in Park County
Written by Andrew-Rossi on February 15, 2018
A bill calling for a 4 percent statewide tax on lodging is moving forward in the Wyoming Legislature.
The Wyoming Tribune Eagle reports the Legislature’s Management Council on Tuesday voted to advance a version of the bill to the floor for an introduction vote. The bill, backed by Republican Sen. Eli Bebout, would distribute half the tax revenue to the state’s general fund and the remainder to local governments. Local government can currently tax up to 4 percent but that amount would be reduced to 2 percent under the bill.
In Park County, voters have traditionally approved the four percent lodging tax dollars, which are then administered by the Park County Travel Council. Wyoming state statutes dictate that those revenues are spent for tourism promotion only, although a portion of those dollars are distributed to the County and City governments. In 2017, lodging tax dollars collected in Park County totaled almost $2.5 million.
Tourism industry groups have opposed the bill, citing concerns about the tax change disrupting local options. But Bebout says the latest bill draft addresses those concerns by distributing the revenue fairly.