CASPER — Few bills in the Wyoming Legislature the past several years have elicited more controversy — or soul-searching about Wyoming’s future — than the National Retail Fairness Act, a corporate income tax proposal by Casper Republican Rep. Jerry Obermueller. The bill was intended to target big-box stores, shelter small businesses and partially fill an education funding shortfall the state faces heading into next year’s budget season.
Introduced mere weeks before the start of the 2019 session, it initially received a warm reception in the House of Representatives, where all revenue-generating bills must originate. With little fanfare, the bill received 44 votes on third reading before proceeding to the Senate. There, it died in committee after a barrage of negative press from conservative activists and Washington organizations.