2020 Guide to New Legislation

HB00020/HEA0033 – Municipal Bonds – Digital Securities

Effective July 1, 2020

Allows bonds issued by or on behalf of a political subdivision of the state to be issued as digital securities, as defined by W.S. 34-29-101(a)(iii). That statute just defines a digital security as a security in the form of a digital asset.

HB0025/HEA0049 County Reserve Accounts

Effective Immediately

Adds new language to the imposition of the special purpose excise tax (SPET) that allows the revenue from the SPET to be used to fund a reserve account.

The reserve account must be in the resolution authorizing the SPET and contain a specified amount to be collected, or specify a collection period not to exceed a specific amount. The funds in the reserve account may be invested as usual and used for normal government operations. It may also be designated as a sinking fund for a specific project, or as a perpetual trust fund.

HB0034/HEA0035 – Motor Vehicle Franchises – Telephone Requirements

Effective July 1, 2020

Removes having a landline telephone number as a requirement to be an authorized vehicle dealer and instead requires a “dedicated telephone number.”

HB0047/HEA0070 – Local Sales and Use Taxes

Effective January 1, 2021

Lowers the required number of governing bodies that need to pass a resolution to get a sales tax question on the ballot from 2/3 to 50%.

Changes the initial term of the general purpose tax (the fifth-cent tax) from two years to four years. Then, it comes up for renewal every four years. The governing body can also submit a question to the voters to allow the tax to be permanent.

Creates a municipal sales tax, in addition to other county sales taxes. The municipality may submit a question to the voters to impose a municipal tax if the county has a general purpose and a SPET tax OR if the commissioners adopt a resolution allowing the cities and towns to impose the tax. If allowed by resolution, the commissioners set the maximum tax rate in quarter increments, not to exceed 1%. Otherwise, the amount of the municipal tax cannot exceed the amount of tax a city or town receives from a SPET tax.

The revenue from the municipal sales tax may be used for general operations or a specific purpose but must be specified in the resolution. The tax terminates when the amount specified in the resolution is collected. The tax is collected by the DOR and distributed directly to the municipality.

HB0159/HEA0078 – Monthly Payment of Ad Valorem Tax on Mineral Production

Effective immediately.

HB0159 gets its own page. Click here for discussion on the bill.

HB0181/HEA0018 – Attorney General Authority in Bankruptcy Actions

Effective Immediately

Allows the Attorney General to act with the county attorney or on behalf of the county in a bankruptcy proceeding, at the request of the county and the approval of the Attorney General. Also allows the cost of the proceedings to be allocated pursuant to an agreement between the county and state.

SF0004/SEA0003 – Wildlife Conversation Account

Effective July 1, 2020

Allows WYDOT to include, as part of an application for the wildlife conservation plate or the renewal, a place for the vehicle owner to donate an additional amount in support of wildlife conservation efforts

SF0018/SEA0013 – Wildlife Conservation Efforts – 2

Effective July 1, 2020

Adds space on a registration application for a vehicle owner that wants to donate any additional amount for wildlife conservation at the time of renewal, for deposit into the state’s wildlife conservation account.

SF0043/SEA0063 – Sales and Use Tax – Definitions Update

Effective July 1, 2020

Adds the definition of an “exempt motor vehicle,” which is any vehicle exempt from sales tax. Requires that the Treasurer provides a person applying for a new title documentation noting any valid sales tax exemption and a receipt specifying the amount of sales tax collected. Since the vehicle is exempt, that amount would presumably be zero.

Also adds language to the definition of a sale, making it the transfer of “title” or tangible property.

SF0057/WEA0024 – Local Government Distributions

Effective July 1, 2020

This bill replaces the direct distributions to counties that used to be contained in the budget bill.

It allocates $105 million from the legislative stabilization reserve account (LSRA) and distributes it to cities, towns and counties. Counties receive 5.5% of the total and 2/3 of 89% of the total. The funds are distributed using a convoluted formula determined by a county’s valuation, inverse sales tax and population.

Counties will receive the distributions over the next biennium, receiving half of the total annually, on August 15 and January 15.

SF0082/SEA0016 – Public Records – Amendments

Effective July 1, 2020

Requires that the annual publication of names, positions and salaries include the total of overtime paid in the total salary amount.

Also adds a definition of “ombudsman” and specifies duties of the ombudsman in receiving complaints about public record requests.

SF0083/SEA0017 – Budget and Financial Data Reporting

Effective Immediately

Requires that counties submit their financial information to the Department of A&I for inclusion on the state’s financial public finance and expenditure of funds website by July 1, 2020.

The Department will determine what financial information is to be published on the site and the format that it must be submitted.

SF0116/SEA0047 – Off-road Recreational Vehicle – Definition

Effective Immediately

Clarifies that the width of an ORV is measured “from the outside of one tire rim to the outside of the opposite tire rim.”

SF00139/SEA0060 – Tax Lien Enforcement -2

Effective July 1, 2020

The bill separates the lien requirements and enforcement into two categories, depending on when the mineral was produced. For minerals produced before January 1, 2021:

The current procedure stays in place with these changes:

The county’s lien on production is subject to all prior existing liens.

Releases a new owner from being subject to a lien if the new owner furnishes evidence of a certification from the county to the previous owner that at the time of the sale, all the taxes imposed on the property were “current,” or that the county had released, settled or agreed to payment terms.

Alters the definition of a “delinquent taxpayer” to include any person who has “any” responsibility to pay the taxes, striking the language that they must have a “legal” responsibility.

For minerals produced after January 1, 2021:

The taxes on production are a lien that attaches immediately upon production of the mineral and is perfected immediately. The lien is on all interests of the taxpayer and encumbers all future production regardless of a change of ownership.

The lien is superior to all other liens except any superior lien that was filed prior to January 1, 2021.

Releases a new owner from being subject to a lien if the new owner furnishes evidence of a certification from the county to the previous owner that at the time of the sale, all the taxes imposed on the property were “current,” or that the county had released, settled or agreed to payment terms.

Restricts the enforcement of any lien until the right of the taxpayer to file an appeal before the State Board of Equalization has expired. A stay on any enforcement of the lien is also in place as long as any appeal exists before a district court or Supreme Court.

Specifies requirements for the Treasurer to foreclose on a tax lien pursuant to subsection (e) of the statute, which contains the procedures for selling real estate at tax sale and for the distraint of personal property. Requirements include that the Treasurer must file a intent to foreclosure and a certified copy of the delinquent tax statement with the county clerk and the producer.

Allows the county to settle delinquent taxes and interest for good cause, or release the lien.