Wyoming Yellowstone Park Sales Tax Proposal Shot Down
- Feb 28, 2012 | Susan McLain
A recent proposal before the Wyoming legislature to “…impose a 1-cent state sales tax in Yellowstone National Park,” has failed. The sales tax proposal was intended to fund park infrastructure projects such as new roads and sewer lines in the national park.
According to the Powell Tribune, bill sponsor, Representative Keith Gingery, R-Jackson, says that there was a lot of opposition based on “…the belief that Yellowstone isn’t really a part of Wyoming,” but is actually a federal responsibility. This opinion had some legislators concerned the federal government would reduce funding should they implement the new sales tax. Representative Elaine Harvey, R-Lovell, voted no because, “we don’t own the Park and I don’t want the feds to think they don’t have the responsibility to fix and build their own infrastructure.” She comments that the state doesn’t even have the funds to maintain their own roads at this time.
On top of the concern of who is truly responsible for Yellowstone Park’s infrastructure, it was noted by Gingery that “we already collect quite a lot of taxes out of Yellowstone.” Besides the state 4-percent sales tax, Teton County collects 2 percent more, plus an additional 2 percent on lodging.
“The Park Service says it has a $750 million backlog of projects” in order to bring the infrastructure up to a “maintainable condition.”