Jobs: Tax and Regulatory Environment (part 2 of 5)

Sheridan Mayor - Dave KinskeyThis Guest Commentary is the second in a five-part series about employment/jobs in our community, by Sheridan Mayor Dave Kinskey. Originally published in The Sheridan Press on January 28, 2012.

The four questions asked by employers looking to expand or relocate:

  1. What is your tax and regulatory environment like?
  2. Can I hire the kind of people I need?
  3. What is your quality of life like?
  4. How soon can I get started?

In this and subsequent columns I will address each of these questions.

Let us take the first one – – the tax and regulatory environment. 

We are blessed in Wyoming.  Through the years our state has carefully set a conservative tone in spending and maintaining a favorable business climate.

Consider these aspects of business, jobs and life in Wyoming: Personal Income Tax none; Corporate Income Tax – none; Inventory Tax – none; Estate Tax – none.

I am sometimes asked what kind of incentives Sheridan and the State of Wyoming can offer to businesses looking to expand or locate here.  What greater incentive could there be than this kind of business environment?  Some states offer all kinds of tax reductions – – but that is only because their taxes are so high to begin with.

Consider our property taxes.  We can all agree that it would be nice to have lower property taxes.  But in reality, Wyoming’s property taxes are lower than in many other states.  The annual residential property tax on a $300,000 home is approximately $2,076.00.  The annual commercial property tax on a $1 million business property is approximately $6,793.00.  Business and home owners from other parts are pleasantly surprised by what they see as a relatively lower tax burden here.  Again, this alone is a significant incentive for the creation of jobs in the Cowboy State.

US News and World Report cited Wyoming as the “number one best place to build a nest egg.”  The Tax Foundation ranked Wyoming “among the best three business tax climates.”  The Wall Street Journal cited Wyoming as the “best financially managed state.” 

Compare that to other states across the country that are flirting with bankruptcy and multimillion dollar deficits due to runaway spending.  The answer in many of these states, sadly, is less often dealing with their spending problem and more often pushing through more tax increases. 

An additional key component is the right kind of regulatory approach at the local government level.  City Hall has made great strides in streamlining its permitting and development processes.  We have implemented ninety six recommendations by an outside consulting firm to simplify our processes for obtaining building permits or developing new subdivisions.  We continue to examine our processes in detail making sure that we apply the necessary regulations mandating appropriate construction in a flexible manner while maintaining the lowest possible regulatory burden.  This topic shall be explored in greater detail in my final column on economy and jobs. 

If you would like to learn more about the kinds of things Sheridan has to offer for businesses looking to create jobs, please check out the Business Development Guide on the City’s website at   It was prepared in collaboration with a number of local organizations and I think you will find it enlightening.

In sum, any business looking to expand and/or relocate would be wise to take a good look at Sheridan Wyoming.  Our tax and regulatory environment, coupled with our tremendous quality of life, bodes well for the future of our community. 

Too often people phrase our economic future as a choice between economic development and quality of life.  The reality is, we can have it all.  We can preserve our quality of life and significantly improve economic opportunity for our citizens and families.

In my next column I will address the second of the four questions job creators ask: Can I hire the kind of people I need in Sheridan Wyoming?


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