Wyoming’s manufacturing industry will see continued tax savings that promote economic diversity with the extension of the manufacturing machinery sales and use tax exemption. Signed into law by Governor Matt Mead on March 9, the law extends the sales tax exemption, originally scheduled to expire on December 31, 2017, to December 31, 2027. Sponsored by former Mayor of Sheridan, now Senator Dave Kinskey, along with several other senators and representatives, legislators in both houses signaled strong support of Wyoming manufacturing as the bill easily passed with only eight out of 90 votes cast against.

Given Wyoming’s economic forecast, there is pressure to supplement the revenue stream by increasing taxes and cutting spending. At the same time, there is an urgent need to diversify the economy beyond its historic reliance on oil and gas. Under the exemption, purchases of capital equipment used in the manufacturing processes are not subjected to sales and use taxes – that generates considerable savings to fund upgrades, expansions, or facilitate the startup of new operations. Over the last 13 years, the exemption has helped Wyoming manufacturing to become one of the top five industry contributors to Wyoming’s GDP, along with mining, oil and gas, and tourism. The exemption also allows Wyoming manufacturers to remain competitive with companies in other states, of which 42 have no sales tax at all, or a similar exemption.

According to Jeff Danielson, VP & Refinery Manager at HollyFrontier Corporation, “Jobs in Wyoming’s manufacturing industry are high-income careers for craftsmen, technicians, and the state’s technically educated workforce. These jobs are the very nature of what Wyoming’s manufacturing sales tax exemption seeks to promote.”

The Alliance of Wyoming Manufacturers (AWM) effectively championed the bill, aligning industry leaders and resources together, and sharing a positive voice for change in the state’s manufacturing industry. A not-for-profit corporation, AWM serves as a voice and monitor for the manufacturing industry in legislative and regulatory matters. AWM advocates for a business environment that allows manufacturing companies to flourish and opposes tax increases and other regulations that may hinder manufacturers. Working together on legislative changes like the sales tax exemption, manufacturers can ensure the future of an industry that is critical to Wyoming’s economy, providing good paying jobs and attracting significant private sector investment.

“This is a terrific win for the state of Wyoming. Manufacturing is key to the state’s future. We are grateful to all involved in the extension of the sales tax exemption. We also appreciate the Alliance members who spoke to the legislature on behalf of the industry and Bob Jensen of Holland & Hart who helped drive this effort, and to unify the voice of manufacturing in the state,” said Mike Wandler, President of L&H Industrial.

“The future of Wyoming is a diverse economy, including a broad mix of manufacturers. The manufacturing equipment sales tax exemption extension helps protect that future. Thanks to all who supported it and to Bob Jensen with Holland & Hart for his foresight and dedication to help manufacturing in the state,” said Rex Lewis, Puma Steel’s President.