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Resident – What does it mean?

February 21, 2012 in News

Resident may refer to: 1. A person who maintains residency (domicile) in a given place. 2. A person who has tax residence in a country or jurisdiction. Similarly, domicile is the status or attribution of being a permanent resident in a particular jurisdiction. So why is the definition of “resident” important to the discussion of 307 First?

307 First is dedicated to helping the true residents of Wyoming to prosper. 307 First members believe that by keeping Wyoming money in Wyoming, we will have a more prosperous state. It has been recognized in Wyoming, for generations, that doing business with residents (individuals and businesses) is beneficial in keeping more dollars in Wyoming. More money in circulation leads to economic expansion and more jobs. The path to prosperity for Wyoming residents is a growing economy with increasing job opportunities.

To facilitate keeping money in Wyoming we have, long ago, established a resident preference for those who provide goods and services to the State of Wyoming. This preference only applies when it is Wyoming money being spent. Since Wyoming money belongs to the residents of Wyoming, the State (through elected representatives) passed laws allowing a 5% preference for Wyoming providers of goods and services. We have similar laws relating to benefits for Wyoming residents. 1. Hunting and fishing licenses are cheaper for residents. 2. Tuition to our community colleges and university is cheaper for residents. 3. The Hathaway Scholarships are for Wyoming residents.

You have to be a true resident to participate in these benefits. The legislature is once again addressing the issue of residency as it relates to public works and contracts. Please read “Legislature Update” in the 307 First news section. A little background may help understand why we need this legislative change. We currently have” resident” contractors who do not reside in Wyoming, which means they get the same preference (5%) as true Wyoming resident companies. At the end of the project, these out of state “residents” take their profits back to the state they are domiciled in.

This situation has contributed to 6,000 jobs lost in the construction industry in Wyoming in the last 3 years. The loss of 6,000 jobs means Wyoming has lost approximately $250 million in wages annually that could have stayed and circulated in Wyoming. We also lose the profits that are part of the permanent capital of Wyoming. Residents wage and profit dollars make up the core of dollars kept in Wyoming. Dollars kept in Wyoming are channeled to our local charities, non-profits, religious and other social programs. Housing, transportation, food, clothing, education and retirement funding come from good paying jobs. New jobs and a growing economy come from reinvested profits which become part of the permanent capital base.

The bill to define residency for purposes of preference relating to public works and contracts is a vital piece of public policy for Wyoming residents. The bill appears to allow any company who has been in business for two years, no matter where the ownership resides, to be a resident if they have paid workers’ compensation and unemployment taxes in Wyoming for one (1) year and is in good standing. So, any contractor, from anywhere, can be a resident without truly being a resident, buy jumping through a few hoops. This “pathway to residency” approach is what created “out of state residents” which is what we have today.

Now the good news – The bill as written creates a select committee on resident contractor preference laws. One of the select committee’s primary goals is to “determine whether statutory changes to┬ácontractor preference laws should be made to effectuate the goal of ensuring that all business entities are at least fifty percent (50%) owned by individuals or entities with an actual presence in Wyoming beyond that necessary to meet minimum requirements to qualify as a resident”.

307 First supports this legislation and this approach to keeping our Wyoming dollars in Wyoming. Please encourage your legislators to support a “True Resident Preference”. This simple test will keep hundreds of millions of dollars circulating in Wyoming. That means more Wyoming jobs.

1 response to Resident – What does it mean?

  1. I have a 307 First owned business on my door now. I have erased any doubt!

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