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1000 E. University Avenue

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-2175

Email: ckhalaf@uwyo.edu

Fiscal Budget

What is the Wyoming state budget?

It is a document prepared by the executive branch of the state government, that includes anticipated revenues and proposed sending for the incoming fiscal year. Similar to most states the fiscal year in Wyoming runs from July 1 to the following June 30. However, Wyoming is one of 20 states that operate under a two-year budgeting process often called a biennial budget. The process starts when the Governor proposes to the Legislature a budget that covers two fiscal years. The two-year budget is debated, adjusted, and passed in even years (i.e. 2022, 2024). Notably, the Governor and Legislature can update the budget in odd numbered years if changes are needed.

What types of revenue does the state receive?

The general operations of State government and K-12 education are funded by 5 sources: 

The largest source of revenue for the state’s general operations is sales and use tax, which is deposited in the General Fund. Wyoming imposes a 4% statewide sales and use tax, of which 69% is directed to the General Fund and the remainder is distributed to counties and municipalities. Sales tax is a tax on the sale, transfer, or exchange of a taxable item or service while use tax is a tax on the storage, use, or consumption of a taxable item or service where no sales tax has been paid. Sales tax is applied when both buyer and seller are in the same state whereas use tax applies to purchases made outside a state’s taxing jurisdiction but still used within the state.

Property taxes are allocated as follows:

  • School foundation program: 12 mills
  • Counties: 12 mills
  • Local School Districts: 6 mills
  • Cities and Towns: 8 mills
  • Community Colleges: 10 mills
  • Special Districts

Severance taxes are paid by extractive industries to the State of Wyoming in return for removing, extracting, severing, or producing any mineral. Severance tax rates imposed are between 2% to 7%. Severance taxes are allocated as follows:

  • Permanent Wyoming Mineral Trust Fund: 1.5% Severance Tax
  • Severance Tax Account: 1% Severance Tax
  • Leaking Underground Storage Tank Program Account: Amount equal to $0.01 of the fuel tax
  • Additional Severance Tax up to $155 million distributed as follows:
    • General Fund: 62.26%
    • Water: 15.05%
    • Cities/Towns: 9.25%
    • Highway Fund: 4.33%
    • Counties: 3.88%
    • County Road Construction Fund: 2.9%
    • Cities, Towns, Counties Capital Construction: 2.33%
  • Additional Severance Tax over $155 million distributed as follows:
    • Budget Reserve Account: 2/3 amount
    • General Fund: 1/3 amount
  • Additional Severance Tax over $366.05 million distributed as follows:
    • Budget Reserve Account: 1/2 amount
    • School Foundation Program Reserve Account: 1/2 amount
  • Additional Severance Tax over $466.05 million distributed as follows:
    • Budget Reserve Account: 2/3 amount
    • General Fund: 1/3 amount

Federal mineral royalties are paid by extractive industries to the Office of Natural Resources Revenue within the Department of Interior of the federal government. The royalty rate is commonly, though not always, set at 12.5%. Federal mineral royalties are generally split evenly between the federal government and the state governments of origin, after the payment of an administrative fee and potential federal sequestration. Wyoming’s share is deposited into the Budget Reserve Account where it is used to balance the state’s budget.

The first $200 million of Federal Mineral Royalties are distributed as follows:

  • School Foundation Program: 44.8%
  • Highway Fund: 30.375%
  • Cities and Towns: 9.375%
  • University of Wyoming: 6.75%
  • Cities, Towns, & Counties Capital Construction: 3.75%
  • School Capital Construction: 2.7%
  • Highway Fund – County Roads: 2.25%

Federal Mineral Royalties between $200 million & $485.5 million are distributed as follows:

  • University of Wyoming: First $8 million
  • Budget Reserve Account: 2/3 amount - $8 million
  • School Foundation Program: 1/3 amount

Federal Mineral Royalties over $485.5 million are distributed as follows:

  • School Foundation Program: 1/2 amount
  • Budget Reserve Account: 1/2 amount

State royalties are used to support education. In fact, the majority of royalties are used for school capital construction, major maintenance, and the operations of the School Facilities Commission and State Construction Department School Facilities Division.

The state supplements its tax revenue with investment income from permanent funds.

The Permanent Wyoming Mineral Trust Fund (PWMTF) receives revenues from a 1.5% severance taxes imposed on designated minerals and other sources. The money in the PWMTF is invested as prescribed by the Legislature and any income received from the investments is deposited by the State Treasurer to the General Fund.

The Permanent Land Fund (PLF) was established by Statute to hold the proceeds from specific lands. Proceeds, or revenues that flow into the PLF, may come from the sale of the lands, the production or sale of minerals, or revenue generated from any depletable resource from the designated lands. The income from the investment of these funds and the income received from the surface leasing of the lands is deposited to various accounts within the Permanent Land Income Fund (PLIF) and is available for expenditure, although typically for restricted purposes.

Funds are collected and deposited into the state General Fund and Budget Reserve Account for distribution established by state law. For several large revenue streams (Severance Taxes, Federal Mineral Royalties, Coal Lease Bonus Payments, Sales and Use Taxes, and Fuel Taxes) prior legislatures elected to establish distribution mechanisms in statute, rather than make individual appropriation decisions on an annual or biennial basis. What is not included in statute is left for the Legislature to allocate.

What services does the State of Wyoming provide? How are these services funded?

K-12 education is funded through the School Foundation Program Account by:

  • Property Taxes (31%)
  • Federal Mineral Royalties (30%)
  • Common School Land investment income (25%)
  • School District Recapture payments (10%)
  • Auto Tax - General (3%)
  • Penalties, Car Company Tax, federal E-rate revenue, and Pooled Interest (1%)

Wyoming imposes a mill levy <total of 43 mills> on all assessed property for purposes of K-12 education. The funding each district receives is a function of the school finance system’s “funding model” (also called the education resource block grant model) as well as the characteristics of the schools, staff and students within a district.

The Legislature appropriates funds intended for the support and maintenance of the University of Wyoming and the state’s community colleges. In addition, UW receives funds from Federal Mineral Royalties as well as State Royalties, Leases/Bonuses, and Investment Income. Similarly, the colleges receive funds from Coal Leases/Bonuses. However, community colleges are funded primarily with local revenues, specifically through property taxes.

The Wyoming Department of Health promotes and protects the health of all Wyoming residents through funds from the General Fund and Budget Reserve Account as well as federal funds.

These funds are allocated among the Judicial Conduct and Ethics Commission, the Attorney General, and the Wyoming Department of Corrections.

Judicial Conduct and Ethics Commission

The Commission receives, investigates, hears, and adjudicates allegations of judicial misconduct, criminal misconduct, civil misconduct, or disability by Wyoming judicial officers. It is funded through the General Fund and Budget Reserve Account.

Attorney General

The Attorney General provides a full range of legal services to elected officials, agencies, and State employees in the conduct of official State business. These services range from initial and advanced law enforcement training provided by the Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy to statewide criminal investigations performed by the Division of Criminal Investigations, to providing crime victim advocacy and victim support programs and payments through the Division of Victim Services. The Attorney General’s Office also provides administrative support and oversight to the Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission and the Wyoming Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities. It is funded through the General Fund and Budget Reserve Account as well as federal funds.

Wyoming Department of Corrections

The Wyoming Department of Corrections supervises offenders sentenced by the courts to serve prison sentences, released to parole by the Parole Board, or placed on supervised probation by the courts. It is funded through the General Fund and Budget Reserve Account as well as federal funds.

The Wyoming Department of Family Services serves children, youth, and families in need of temporary or ongoing financial assistance and/or court-ordered social services. It is funded through the General Fund and Budget Reserve Account as well as federal funds.

These funds are allocated among the Public Service Commission, the Wyoming Department of Parks & Cultural Resources, the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services, the Oil & Gas Conservation Commission, and the Wyoming Business Council.

Public Service Commission

The Wyoming Public Service Commission serves all residential, commercial and industrial customers of electric, natural gas, water and intrastate pipeline public utilities and telecommunications companies in Wyoming. It is funded through an assessment, statutorily limited to three (3) mills, on gross intrastate retail revenues of utility service and commodity providers as well as funds from the Wyoming Universal Fund assessment on intrastate retail sales of telecommunications services, interest earned on the Wyoming Universal Service Fund balance, and federal funds from a grant for the Wyoming One Call public service announcements and for the Wyoming pipeline safety program.

Wyoming Department of Parks & Cultural Resources

The Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources studies and preserves Wyoming's state parks, historic sites, and state trails as well as Wyoming's history and pre-history. <how is this funded>

Wyoming Department of Workforce Services

The Wyoming Department of Workforce Services provides employment services and assistance to individuals and businesses, while ensuring compliance with federal and/or state standards. It is funded through general funds (11%), federal funds (48%), and other funds (40%).

Oil & Gas Conservation Commission

The commission permits and maintains records on wells, deals with disputes, fields inspections, and manages orphan well plugging, among other activities. It is funded through revenue from the conservation tax and from fees on certain applications. The conservation tax is a tax on oil and gas sales paid by oil and gas operators. In addition, the commission receives EPA funding.

Wyoming Business Council

The council thrives to create opportunities for current and future generations of Wyomingites by adding value to Wyoming’s core industries (energy, agriculture, outdoor recreation and tourism) and leveraging them to activate new economic sectors (healthcare, finance, scientific and professional services, arts and culture, and advanced manufacturing). It is funded through the General Fund and Budget Reserve Account.

These funds are allocated among the Department of Agriculture, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, and the Office of State Lands and Investments.

Department of Agriculture

The Wyoming Department of Agriculture provides diverse services to the residents of the State which include food, water, and environment safety as well as supervising the integrity of weights and measures, among other activities. It is funded through the General Fund and Budget Reserve Account.

Wyoming Game and Fish Department

The Game and Fish Department itself enforces laws, conserves wildlife, and is statutorily required to manage over 800 species of wildlife across Wyoming. Approximately 80 percent of funding comes from license fees and excise taxes on hunting and fishing equipment. Additional funding comes from various sources including conservation stamps, fees and various grants as well as federal funding for sport fish and wildlife restoration.

Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality

The Department of Environmental Quality provides the following services: monitoring, permitting, inspection, enforcement and restoration/remediation activities, which protect, conserve and enhance the environment while supporting responsible stewardship of the state’s resources. It is funded through the General Fund and Budget Reserve Account.

Office of State Lands and Investments

The Office of State Lands and Investments (OSLI) is a fiduciary agency for the State of Wyoming and the State’s trust beneficiaries. It manages 3.9 million subsurface acres and 3.5 million surface acres for the fiduciary benefit of fifteen separate beneficiaries (86% of which support the K-12 school system). Further, it oversees fifteen grant and loan programs for the health, safety, and general welfare of the residents of Wyoming. OSLI also houses the State Forester, who is statutorily charged with directing all forest interests and all matters pertaining to forestry within the jurisdiction of the State. The State Forester is also charged with fire responsibility for the 3.5 million surface acres and provides technical assistance on private forested land across the State. The State Forester administers the Emergency Fire Suppression Account and is the Governor’s Authorized Representative (GAR) for wildfire related issues. It is partially funded through the General Fund and Budget Reserve Account.

Transportation expenditures include the Department of Transportation payroll, airport improvement grants, contractor payments, professional services, and other costs associated with equipment, utilities, maintenance contracts, statewide cost allocation, and telecommunications, among others. Funding deposited in the Highway Fund, is available through federal aid, fuel taxes, vehicle registrations, and Federal Mineral Royalties.

These funds are allocated among the Office of the Governor, the Office of the Secretary of State, the Department of Administration & Information, the Wyoming Military Department, and the Department of Audit.

Office of the Governor

The Governor formulates and administers executive policy and exercises general supervision, direction, and control over the executive branch of state government. The office is funded through the General Fund and Budget Reserve Account as well as federal funds.

Office of the Secretary of State

The Secretary of State has responsibilities over the following areas: elections, business registrations, state rules, investor enforcement, and education. The office is funded through the General Fund and Budget Reserve Account as well as federal funds.

Department of Administration & Information

The Department of Administration & Information supports elected officials, state agencies, state employees, local governments, agency officials, professional licensing boards, libraries, state residents, and other constituents by providing budgetary assistance, managing the State Data Center and Decennial Census databases, and performs centralized HR functions for the executive branch, among other activities. It is partially funded through the General Fund and Budget Reserve Account as well as federal funds.

Wyoming Military Department

The mission of the Department is to provide ready and professional personnel and formations capable of winning on the battlefield, enabling competition across multiple domains, saving lives, alleviating suffering, and protecting property in support of civilian authority wherever the Governor or President may designate. It is funded through the General Fund and Budget Reserve Account as well as federal funds.

Department of Audit

The Department audits, regulates, and licenses to promote compliance with state revenue collections, state and local government accounting requirements, and the regulation of financial service providers. It is funded through the General Fund and Budget Reserve Account as well as federal funds.

K-12 school district capital construction, major maintenance, and the operations of the school facilities commission and state construction department’s school facilities division are funded through the School Capital Construction Account (SCCA). This account receives funding from:

  • State Royalties (90%)
  • Federal Mineral Royalties (10%)
Contact Us

CBEA

1000 E. University Avenue

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-2175

Email: ckhalaf@uwyo.edu

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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