The Wyoming legislature may be taking up the anti-Republican position of raising taxes to fund state government this year, while the city of Douglas has suggested a quarter-cent sales tax to fund economic development work in all its variations. While we certainly can understand the desire to increase income as the economy disintegrates beneath our feet, now is a really, really bad time to do that.
Consumers, businesses and governments are all hurting as we try to recover from a pandemic and, in our case, an energy industry near-collapse. Adding insult to injury at this time by raising taxes can only be harmful to any recovery. Interestingly, tax hikes have been an anathema to the Republican Party, yet it is GOP leaders at the state level who seem to be willing to embrace the concept because the immediate issue facing them – funding government – is so grave. We get it, it’s bad.
But piling it on consumers (who will ultimately pay for any taxes) and businesses (which will see decreased sales as taxes go up) at this time is a bonehead economic move whether its at the national, state or local level. We hope more level heads prevail.