Tripling Fees Will Hurt Business

By Obituaries | Wyoming Tribune-Eagle (Cheyenne, WY), February 1, 2017 | Go to article overview

Tripling Fees Will Hurt Business


Obituaries, Wyoming Tribune-Eagle (Cheyenne, WY)


Tripling of fees not business friendly Late last Friday afternoon, Jan. 27, Rep. Jerry Obermueller, R-Casper, submitted House Bill 267 to the Legislature, seeking to increase the minimum annual reporting fees for businesses by 200 percent - from $50 to $150 - effectively tripling fees for most businesses.

While we all recognize the budget difficulties our state is currently facing, I believe HB 267 will be detrimental to small business owners registered in Wyoming and will damage our "business friendly" reputation and likely end up hurting our state budget much more than it helps. As Secretary of State, overseeing the filing and reporting of the businesses registered in Wyoming, I am adamantly opposed to these tripling of fees - or to any increase of fees - for the following reasons: 1) We are at a pivotal time in the history of our state, with the need to diversify and grow our economy and exit our boom/bust cycles. We must nurture and protect our "business friendly" climate, not only for our existing businesses, but in order to attract and encourage new business formation and entrepreneurship in Wyoming.

HB 267 is very unfriendly to businesses currently registered in Wyoming and is certainly a red flag for any new business considering registering in Wyoming. Our existing businesses need our support and stability - not a state of unpredictability and radical fee increases.

For the numerous businesses and mixed sectors Wyoming seeks to attract, we must promote and exemplify a climate that encourages, supports, nurtures and promotes innovative entrepreneurial commerce formation. An increase in fees and taxes, as proposed by Representative Obermueller, is the last thing we can afford to impose at this time.

I understand the need to raise revenue, but to raise it on the backs of small businesses that often struggle to get by strikes me as fundamentally unfair. To the contrary, I believe we need to cultivate small business and private enterprise - the backbone of our economy. Therefore, our focus should be on economic development and diversification - not on raising fees and taxes.

We need existing small businesses registered in Wyoming to stay here and flourish while we aggressively seek new businesses and industries to come here and broaden our tax base. True economic development leads to increased employment, community growth, and a thriving economy which, in turn, will generate increased tax revenue. …

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