Wyoming lawmakers consider tax increase for tourism

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - A legislative panel is considering a new tax to fund Wyoming's tourism promotion efforts.

The Legislature's Joint Revenue Committee is drafting a bill that would impose a 1 percent tax at hotels, restaurants, bars and other leisure and hospitality establishments around the state.

It's estimated the tax would raise more than $17 million annually.

Most of the money from the tax would fund the state Tourism Office, which spends millions of dollars around the world promoting Wyoming's tourist attractions.

Advocates of the tax say it would provide a stable revenue stream for tourism promotion and reduce the burden on the cash-strapped state general fund, which funds the office now.

The panel will vote next month on whether to submit the proposal to the full Legislature next February.