Wyoming Legislature

CHEYENNE (AP) — A measure to impose a 5% statewide lodging tax appears likely to pass the Wyoming Legislature after the state Senate approved it.

The Senate, which defeated a similar bill last year, passed the lodging tax measure Friday by a 16-13 vote.

The measure had previously passed the House. A committee must negotiate differences in the versions that each chamber approved before the bill advances to the governor.

Gov. Mark Gordon has previously endorsed the bill, saying a lodging tax is the only new tax he would support.

Wyoming is seeking ways to shore up its budget amid declining energy production revenue, but the Republican-dominated Legislature is reluctant to support tax increases. Other tax bills have been defeated in the legislative session or have failed to generate enough support to be introduced.

The state faces an estimated $200 million revenue deficit over the next few years.

The lodging tax would raise about $9 million its first year and an estimated $18.6 million annually after that.

Three-fifths of the revenue would go to promote state tourism, and the rest would be distributed to the counties and cities where it was collected.

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