WORLAND (WNE) — Travelers in Wyoming on Jan. 1 and after found that they were paying more for lodging than they did in 2020, with a new lodging tax going into effect Jan. 1.
The 2020 Wyoming Legislature approved House Enrolled Act No. 7 in the budget session in March 2020. According to the Legislative Service Office, the act imposes a tax of 5% on sales of lodging services in the state.
The act specifies distribution of the tax, providing that 3% shall be dedicated to state revenues, with 80% of that amount deposited in the Wyoming tourism account and the remainder deposited in the Wyoming tourism reserve and projects account. The remaining 2% of the 5% tax is dedicated to local governments on a county-by-county basis with distribution to cities and towns that have imposed a local optional lodging tax in proportion to the amount raised by the local optional tax.
Washakie County currently imposes 4% lodging tax that is approved by voters every four years. Voters approved the lodging tax most recently in 2018.
The act, according to the LSO, provides for a delay in the implementation of the 2% portion of the statewide tax for cities, towns and counties that currently impose a local optional lodging tax. This ensures that the lodging tax in the state does not exceed 7%.
The 2% tax is delayed until the next time that the city, town or county is required to vote on the imposition of its local optional lodging tax.