Recognizing a future where Wyoming’s long-term revenues are in decline, Governor Mark Gordon has released a conservative budget proposal for the next biennium. The Governor’s approach addresses the immediate challenges facing the state by making targeted investments – including expanded property tax relief totalling $20 million – while ensuring ongoing spending remains at a sustainable level.
The Governor describes his budget this way: “It focuses on needs and not wants, but addresses the pressing challenges of today – a continuously overreaching federal government; workforce shortages; inflation; an unacceptably high suicide rate; and property tax relief for the truly needy.”
With a period of federal funding coming to an end, Governor Gordon’s balanced budget reflects his desire for Wyoming to responsibly take control of its fiscal future. The Governor’s proposal places surplus revenues into savings and provides $20 million to expand the Property Tax Refund Program.
“Wyoming has been fortunate to be the beneficiary of high natural gas prices and an influx of federal funds since the pandemic,” Governor Gordon said. “However, now we must adapt to the absence of those federal dollars and the impact to our ongoing spending. It requires us to make difficult decisions about meaningful programs, and to determine how we are going to address our current challenges as well as the needs of future generations.”
The Governor proposes allocating funding to address the changes affecting Wyoming’s energy industry, programs to support workforce development and economic diversification and addressing the state’s mental health crisis. These investments include:
- $20 million to expand the Property Tax Refund program to provide additional targeted relief to Wyoming homeowners.
- Funding for community mental health centers and youth services mental health providers as well as expansion of the 988 suicide prevention hotline capacity to add text and chat services.
- Continued support for the expansion of the Wyoming Innovation Partnership to enhance the workforce in support of economic development.
- Increased spending authority for the Federal Natural Resources Planning Account (FNRPA) to defend Wyoming interests in court.
Governor Gordon also continues to pursue key investments to maintain the state’s position as a global leader in energy and natural resources. That includes a proposed extension of the Governor’s Energy Matching Fund program, and support for approaches to use and store carbon dioxide, so that Wyoming’s coal mines can continue to produce and supply reliable, dispatchable power.
“We continue to be challenged by a federal government whose executive policies are holding back our most profitable industries like oil and gas and coal that have done so much to fund our schools, our programs, and our abilities to meet the needs of Wyoming citizens,” Governor Gordon said. “In totality, this budget proposes living within our means, not just in this biennium, but in those to come. It keeps ongoing spending at a level we can sustain. ”
The Governor’s budget message and full budget may be found on the State Budget Department’s webpage. He will present his 2025/26 budget to the Wyoming Legislature’s Joint Appropriations Committee on December 12.