In addition to consistently being named the nation’s “Most Business Friendly Tax Climate” five years running by the Tax Foundation, Wyoming provides a variety of advantages for businesses looking to relocate or expand.
Wyoming is a right-to-work state. Additionally, 7.1 percent of the state’s workforce are union members compared to 11.1 percent nationally (U.S. Bureau of Labor, 2015).
The state’s 301,770 labor force benefits from a strong commitment to education.
Wyoming consistently ranks among the top 10 states in annual K-12 per-pupil spending (currently about $17,000 per student). Wyoming spending per K-12 pupil increased 62 percent from 2005-15.
In January 2016, “Inside Higher Ed” named Wyoming best in the nation in terms of state funding for higher education. Wyoming was the only state to receive an “A” grade.
The percentage of Wyomingites 25 and older with at least a high school diploma is 92.3. The percentage with a bachelor’s degree or more is 25.1. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010-14).
Wyoming is not unlike most states in facing an aging baby boomer population. However, Wyoming’s second most populated age group is 20-29, and the state’s median age of 36.9 is 14th youngest in the country (Wyoming Department of Administration and Information, 2016).
People of all ages benefit from Wyoming’s high quality of life, easy access to national and state parks, year-round recreational opportunities, open spaces and community/cultural events.
Wyoming consistently receives high marks for state management and deep financial reserves, which, in turn, provides business owners with a reliable, collaborative environment in which to work.
The Wyoming Legislature is statutorily required to maintain a balanced budget and the state has approximately $17 billion in savings and trusts. Wyoming has invested billions in infrastructure critical to public and private business needs.
Wyoming’s open-door access to legislators and the Governor is especially attractive to startup companies in highly regulated industries. This access, coupled with numerous grant, loan and incentive programs, provides businesses with key financial resources.
Thinking about expanding, relocating or investing? Think Wyoming.
Low Tax Burden
NO corporate state income tax
NO personal state income tax
NO inventory tax
NO franchise tax
NO occupation tax
NO value-added tax
- Wyoming assesses four categories of property taxes: mineral production, industrial, residential and commercial.
- Industrial property tax is figured using the following formula: (Asset Value x 11.5%) x Local Mill Rate = Annual Property Tax Liability. Local mill rates typically range from .6 to .7.
- Wyoming’s sales tax rate is 4% statewide with counties electing up to 3% additional.
Manufacturing Sales Tax Exemption
The sales tax burden is exempt on the sale or lease of machinery to be used in the state of Wyoming directly and predominantly in manufacturing tangible personal property.
Sales Tax Exemption on Electricity Used in Manufacturing
The sales tax burden is exempt on sales of power or fuel to a person engaged in the business of manufacturing, processing or agriculture when the same is consumed directly in the manufacturing process.
Data Center Sales Tax Exemption
- For data centers with a minimum $5 million investment in capital infrastructure and an additional $2 million in data center equipment and software purchases.
- At a $50 million investment in capital infrastructure, HVAC and UPS system purchases are also sales tax exempt.
Managed Data Center Cost Reduction Grant Program
- The program designed for the recruitment and growth of data centers in Wyoming reimburses the accrued utility expenses for power or broadband up to a maximum grant award of $2.25 million. The grant amount is based on how much capital investment and payroll the business will realize over five years. The business must create a match of at least 125% of the grant amount in payroll and capital expenditure with the caveat that 50% of the match will be in payroll creation. Payroll must be greater than 150% of the county’s median wage.
- The Wyoming Business Council’s Business Ready Community grant and loan program provides financing for publicly owned infrastructure to assist the start-up, retention, expansion or location of a specific committed business. The maximum award is $3 million with a 10 to 30 percent match. Cities, towns, counties, joint powers boards and the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes are eligible to apply for funding.
Visit our Business Ready Community grant and loan program page
- Wyoming Partnership Bridge Loan: The Wyoming Business Council can participate with a local lender on a loan to a business. The state’s portion of the participation may be up to 35% of the project (maximum of $1 million) in a shared note and collateral position with the local lender. The interest rate is set at 5 percent (fixed) for the first five years of the loan participation.
- Wyoming Partnership Guaranteed Loan Participation: The Wyoming Business Council can participate with a lender that has secured a federal guarantee (i.e. U.S. Small Business Administration or U.S. Department of Agriculture) to guarantee repayment of a loan made to a business. The maximum participation by the Business Council shall be 50% of the loan or $2 million, whichever is less. The interest rate is set at 5 percent (fixed) for the first five years of the loan participation.
- Economic Development Large Project: The program allows the Wyoming State Treasurer to lend funds for the benefit of Wyoming businesses. The loan may finance the purchase, construction and installation of buildings or equipment that will add economic value to goods, services or resources within the state. The minimum loan amount is $5 million, and the applicant must contribute at least 25 percent of the total project cost.
- Tax-Exempt Industrial Development Revenue Bonds: Bonds are issued in the name of a city, town, county or state authority. Use of proceeds and types of qualifying projects are determined by Internal Revenue Service rules. Contact the Wyoming Business Council to learn more about the state’s volume cap allocation.
Wyoming recognizes what makes a well-run business successful: Its people. Wyoming is in the enviable position of being able to invest in both its workforce of today and its workforce of tomorrow.
Wyoming Department of Workforce Services
- The state agency offers employers the ability to register their openings and examine the labor pool free of charge with its online job-matching system, Wyoming At Work.
- Additional specialized recruitment and screening services are available at local Workforce Centers located throughout Wyoming.
- Workforce specialists are available to work with your company to identify labor information that will help with decision-making regarding hiring.
Workforce specialists can assist in writing job orders, researching wages and establishing criteria to ensure the job listing is reaching the appropriate audience.
Visit http://doe.state.wy.us/lmi/ for Wyoming labor market information.
Workforce Development Training Fund
- Business Training Grants for Existing Positions provide up to $2,000 per trainee per fiscal year for established Wyoming businesses with existing employees who need a skill upgrade or retraining in their current occupations.
- Business Training Grants for New Positions provide between $1,000 to $4,000 per trainee per fiscal year depending on the employee’s full-time status and wage amount.
Grants for New Positions were developed to assist Wyoming businesses in two ways: Wyoming business expansion and new business recruitment.
- The Pre-Hiring Economic Development Grant Program is designed to train skilled workers in a particular business, businesses or industry. Applications are completed through a partnering of four entities that contribute separate needs or services to the program:
- A training entity that can deliver the training, certificate or skills the business requires.
- A business, group of businesses or an industry with a need for workers.
- The local or regional economic development entity that will work within the local or regional economic network to provide assistance.
- The local Workforce Center, which will assist in the recruitment of potential skilled workers, along with placement of trained participants.
- Pre-Obligation Grants was developed for the state’s economic development partners working on large relocation or expansion projects. The grant allows economic developers the flexibility to request advance allocation of Workforce Development Training funding in support of a new or expanding business in Wyoming. Pre-Obligation funds may only be requested by economic development entities, and any funding allocated must be disbursed through an approved Pre-Hire Economic Development Grant and/or a Business Training Grant for New Positions.
The Workforce Development Training Fund is administered by the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services. Application forms are available at http://wyomingworkforce.org/businesses/wdtf/
In Wyoming, we measure travel by time, not mileage. If it takes an hour to get from town to one of the state’s three interstate highways, you can count on it taking an hour.
In Wyoming, we are not burdened by traffic jams.
Strategically located in central North America, many routes lead to, through and from Wyoming.
- A total of 915 miles of interstate crisscross Wyoming. Interstate 15 connects to Los Angeles and Canada, and is accessible via I-80 or I-90.
- BNSF Railway and Union Pacific Railroad own a combined 1,844 route-miles of track in Wyoming. In all, the state’s freight-rail system consists of 1,868 miles of track.
- Wyoming features 10 commercial airports with final destination service to major cities around the world. Three international airports border the state in Denver, Salt Lake City and Billings, Montana.
- Wyoming’s excellent transportation access has been a major factor in the creation of new business parks suited to manufacturing and transportation and warehousing companies:
- Casper Logistics Hub (CLH): Located in Casper, the CLH is one of the newest logistic centers in the western U.S. It features 700 acres of industrial land and the CTRAN railyard and transloading facility. It is strategically positioned next to BNSF’s Class I rail lines, Casper/Natrona County International Airport, a foreign trade zone and Interstate 25.
- Salt Creek Heights Business Park: The Park consists of about 135 acres outside of Casper and was designed by Refined Properties LLC. It is home to American Tire Distributors and its 80,000 square-foot warehouse.
- Swan Ranch Rail Park: This 550-acre industrial facility, developed by Granite Peak Development LLC, is part of 7,200 acres near the Interstate 80/Interstate 25 interchange south of Cheyenne. The rail park has access to the BNSF and Union Pacific rail lines.
- The Wyoming Business Council has invested $98.8 million in business parks statewide since 2004.
Low-Cost, High-Impact Education
In 2005, Wyoming legislators created the Hathaway Scholarship program for qualified students who graduate from Wyoming high schools. The initial $400 million endowment funds scholarships to attend the University of Wyoming in Laramie and any of the eight community colleges strategically located throughout Wyoming.
The program consists of four merit scholarships, each with specific eligibility requirements, and a need-based scholarship for eligible students that supplements the merit awards.
The University of Wyoming also maintains the UW/Casper College Center, nine outreach education centers and Extension Service centers in all 23 counties and on the Wind River Indian Reservation.
The Wyoming Business Council and the community colleges partner to target and develop employment training programs to meet the specific needs of businesses and industries.
Wired to the World
- The $15.8 million, 100-gigabit, redundant, statewide network backbone known as the Wyoming Unified Network is a unique public-private effort to enhance educational opportunities, promote business growth, expand tele-health services and improve quality of life, among other items.
- The Unified Network presents opportunities for all of the service providers in Wyoming to improve existing connections and services and bring connections to small, rural communities that normally wouldn’t warrant investment.
- Wyoming ranks first in the nation in classroom broadband connectivity with 100 percent of school districts meeting the Federal Communications Commission’s 100 kbps per student bandwith goal for digital learning. Nationwide, 77 percent of school districts currently meet the minimum standard (EducationSuperHighway, 2015 State of the States report).
Research Centers of Excellence
The University of Wyoming’s $115 million Tier 1 Engineering Initiative, launched in 2012, is designed to lead the state’s only four-year public institution to the national forefront in education and research. The initiative includes industry partnerships and provides the added benefit of workforce and economic development. The Tier 1 reach includes the Science Initiative and Education Initiative at UW.
The UW School of Energy Resources partnered with the College of Engineering and Applied Science for facilities and investments to enhance education and research in the following areas:
- Improved oil and gas recovery
- Clean coal and gas to liquids
- High-performance computational science and engineering
- Oil and gas flow in unconventional reservoirs
Tier 1 Initiative facilities constructed or currently under construction include:
- Energy Innovation Center: A $25 million public-private investment and home to the School of Energy Resources. It is a collaborative facility where students, researchers, academic professionals and industry partners can engage in solving challenges in the energy industry.
- Michael B. Enzi STEM Facility: A $50 million public investment. The facility provides 32 teaching laboratories equipped for chemistry, biology, physics, mathematics and computer science.
- College of Engineering Building: The new building will be a learning and discovery continuum to promote innovation and creativity. It will offer an integrated approach to education and research by crystalizing the latest thinking from wide-ranging perspectives.
- High Bay Research Facility: A $50 million public-private investment. This facility will be equipped to carry out large-scale research and development to solve energy-related challenges. It will initially host studies and projects to improve understanding in porous media, unconventional reservoir production and coal conversion.
The tectonic forces that created Wyoming’s complex Rocky Mountain terrain preserved rich fossil beds from multiple geologic eras, making the state a major producer of coal, natural gas and crude oil.
Wyoming has the smallest population in the U.S. but supplies more energy than any other state.
Wyoming’s unique geological features also produce some of the best wind resources in the nation. Sustained winds are funneled through mountain passes and out across the high prairie.
Wyoming also straddles the Continental Divide, providing the headwaters for four major river basins in the western U.S.: the Missouri-Mississippi, Green-Colorado, Snake-Columbia and Great Salt Lake.
Add it all up, and Wyoming has ample resources and cost-competitive rates for industrial, commercial and agricultural use.
- If Wyoming were its own country, it would be the third-largest energy exporter in the world. (Source: EIA)
- Wyoming’s industrial electricity rate is 45 cents below the national average; commercial rate is 99 cents below. (Source: EIA)
- In the eight-state Mountain region, Wyoming is 33 cents below the industrial electricity rate average; commercial rate is 50 cents below. (Source: EIA)
- Wyoming has more than 40 percent of class 5, 6 and 7 inland wind resources in the U.S., with the potential of producing 116,670 MW. (Source: NREL)
- There are approximately 778 municipal water systems and 200 wastewater treatment systems in Wyoming. Many industrial users have one supply for potable water and another for non-potable water. Additionally, low electricity rates help minimize water pumping costs. (Source: Wyoming Rural Water Association)
There are nine telecommunications providers near Interstate 80 and throughout Wyoming. Nearly 80 percent of housing units in the state have broadband access through telco, cable or wireless providers.
Quality of life makes a community worth living in: Comprehensive planning/visioning, cultural and recreational opportunities, adequate and affordable housing, health care, good schools, police and fire protection and curb appeal.
That’s why community development funding and technical assistance are as critical to the Wyoming Business Council’s mission to increase Wyoming’s prosperity as business development is.
The people who live and work in Wyoming believe quality of life and economic opportunity go hand in hand. That Wyoming knows no boundaries.
These people work to meet the nation’s immediate energy needs. They research opportunities to add value to Wyoming’s vast natural resources including new and alternative energies. They develop and take advanced manufacturing products to market that improve patient safety, protect our service men and women and allow for locally grown crops in any climate.
These same people enjoy boundless recreational and cultural opportunities. Residents and visitors alike can enjoy a day outdoors and a night on the town – all in the same day.
Wyoming features two national parks, Devils Tower National Monument, 12 state parks and five national forests along with plenty of open spaces to hunt, fish, bike, hike and climb.
The state is also home to seven ski areas and resorts, from Jackson Hole in the northwest corner to minutes from Laramie in the southeast.
Arts and culture? Wyoming offers an array of Western- and urban-themed events throughout the state, from rodeos to galleries to symphonies to brew fests to farmers markets.
Please visit these links for more information about Wyoming’s unmatched quality of life:
Wyoming Travel and Tourism
Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites and Trails
Wyoming Game and Fish Department
Wyoming Business Council Monthly Newsletter
Quality of Life: