Two legislators take on taxes with restrictive spending proposal

Two conservative lawmakers introduced a measure this week to cap growth in state budgets in anticipation of the next boom — during which they say Wyoming could save enough money to avoid any future tax increases.

The proposal is being carried in mirror House and Senate bills by Sen. Bo Biteman (R-Ranchester) and Rep. Chuck Gray (R-Casper). House Bill 172 and Senate File 98 are both called Wyoming Budget Stabilization Act. The bills would prevent both the governor and the Legislature from increasing annual spending more than an amount calculated through a combination of inflation and population growth rates.

The bill is a countermeasure to lawmakers interested in raising revenue through tax proposals they say will modernize the state’s tax system, the sponsors say.