CHEYENNE – One day, Casper Republican Jerry Obermueller wanted to test whether Wyoming’s low tax rate had an effect on prices across the state.
Phoning friends in Seattle and Nebraska, he asked them to buy a number of products from chain stores that he had purchased in Wyoming. Obermueller wanted to see if there were any discernible differences in price between the three locations.
So he got to thinking: Stores operating in multiple states don’t set their prices from state to state, regardless of what the conditions on the ground are. They work from a single ledger in the corporate office, accounting their income and expenses in one place and setting their prices based on that number. To a big corporation, Wyoming’s lack of a tax meant little to its bottom line.