The Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation (WyFB) covers a wide range of issues at the Wyoming Legislature each year to represent member policy. The policy book developed by the members starting at the grassroots level is what drives the position WyFB takes on legislation. 

            The Wyoming Legislature convened the 2024 Budget Session on February 12 and adjourned on March 8. The Budget Session is held every other year and is scheduled as a 20-day session. In this session, any legislation not related to the budget must receive a 2/3 majority vote to be introduced.

            While the budget is the main focus of the session, a myriad of bills were worked on by WyFB. Those bills included, but were not limited to, property taxes, state lands, wildlife, foreign property ownership, and eminent domain. 

            Regarding the state’s budget, WyFB Director of Public and Governmental Affairs Brett Moline said most of the agencies that directly impact agriculture did not go through the budget cuts they have in the past. Moline explained WyFB remains concerned, however, that the funding for the State Board of Control needs transferred back to the State Engineer’s Office rather than coming out of funds designated for Water Development projects. 

Property tax relief

            WyFB policy calls for no new taxes and no increase in taxes. Many variations of property tax relief legislation were introduced. “Even though none of the proposals dealt with anything besides residential property, we supported the bills that were a cut in taxes,” Moline explained. 

            Moline noted a positive solution from the discussions was a cap on the increase in residential housing property taxes which has now been signed into law. “The legislation calls for a cap of a four percent increase per year,” Moline said. “Taxes still will likely increase, but this cap will help moderate some of those areas that saw a 25% or 50% increase in taxes.”

            The two-year sunset date on some of the property tax bills limits the relief. “If state funding isn’t available to backfill other government needs like counties, cities and other districts, then after the two-year relief the property taxes would jump right back up,” he said.

            “Those homeowners who are 65 years and older and have paid taxes for 25 years in Wyoming will receive substantial help on property taxes for a limited period with the additional funding into the homestead exemption,” Moline explained.

            WyFB opposed the legislation that would have reduced residential property taxes and raised sales taxes by 2%. “While homeowners would have received a tax reduction, those that don’t own homes and those who do were going to see a sales tax increase,” Moline said. “The concern of increasing taxes and losing business to a neighboring state with no sales tax would have made a large problem even larger.” This legislation failed.

            Governor Gordon vetoed legislation which would have exempted 25% of a primary residence from property taxes with a maximum exemption of $200,000.

            Moline explained that multiple short-term measures were taken during the session. “This is an issue that will be ongoing in the interim,” Moline said. “The bills will take affect July 1st and then we will have to wait for rules to come out for the next tax year to know what the process will be for the property tax relief.”


A bill that would have put a registration fee on electric vehicles as a surcharge of $200 per vehicle did not receive enough votes for introduction. WyFB policy supported this legislation. “The surcharge per vehicle was an estimation of what they would have paid for fuel taxes for maintenance of Wyoming roads,” Moline said.

State Lands

            WyFB supported two bills that are now law regarding state land lease renewals and payments. The first bill extended the grace period for renewing state trust land grazing permits 30 days past the expiration date. The second bill specified that lease payments are considered received based on the postmark date. “We felt it was important to get these procedures into statutes for consistency and transparency on every lease to address issues our members have been experiencing with lease renewals,” Moline said.


            WyFB supported a bill related to forage compensation in areas where the game population is above the objective set by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD). “This bill passed the House and made it through committee in the Senate but unfortunately was never heard on the Senate floor,” Moline said. “This bill would have encouraged the Game and Fish Department to work on wildlife numbers before they get to almost three times the objective number.”

            Another wildlife bill related to the introduction of bighorn sheep. The legislation passed and will require the WGFD to remove or relocate bighorn sheep from the Sweetwater Rocks if the bighorn sheep cause any changes in federal actions. “WyFB opposed this bill because of the potential of harm to local permittees in the area,” Moline explained. “This is an issue that can’t be fixed at the state level. It needs federal resolution.”

            “While the state has input, the federal agencies control the land and have the final decision,” he continued. “And as we’ve seen in many instances local input is taken, but not heeded.” 

Foreign property ownership

            Multiple bills were introduced to prohibit foreign property ownership in Wyoming. WyFB policy supported these bills. Two bills were not considered for introduction. Those bills would have prohibited foreign ownership of agricultural lands in Wyoming and foreign ownership of all land and other interests in Wyoming. The other bill that would have outlawed foreign ownership of any critical infrastructure failed in the House Appropriations Committee.

            The fourth bill was a Senate Joint resolution to amend the Wyoming Constitution to prohibit foreign adversaries, as defined by the legislature, from owning any property in Wyoming. This resolution failed third reading in the Senate.

“One of the problems is most of the bills were unconstitutional,” Moline explained. “The question surfaced if the focus against foreign ownership needs narrowed to adversarial countries and if the Wyoming Constitution needs amended to allow for this type of legislation.” 


            Legislation passed dealing with amendments to water exchange statutes. “Most of this legislation was clean-up language,” Moline explained. “We made sure that it is outlined in statute that all other users are made whole.”

            Legislation related to temporary change in use failed in the House Agriculture Committee. The bill would have increased temporary water rights from 2-5 years.

Eminent domain

            According to Moline, the eminent domain legislation did not get introduced but will hopefully be discussed during the interim. “Alternative energy with windmills and solar units have subtle differences between these two projects and everything else,” he said. “While the landowner who leases the land gets the benefits, the surrounding neighbors have to deal with the implications of the collection lines that run through their property.”

            “Last year we supported a bill that put a 10-year moratorium on it to find a way to better work the process and then the Governor vetoed the bill,” he continued. “This year the legislation we supported would have limited the power of eminent domain for collector lines to only public utilities and only if 85% of the land used for the lines was under contract.”

Sage Grouse plans 

            WyFB supported a bill that passed to require notice be made to landowners before recommendations are made on sage grouse plans. “That is typically done but the ball was dropped recently,” Moline said. “We feel strongly that statutes need to reflect that affected landowners be notified of recommendations made by Sage Grouse Implementation Teams and we were pleased this was signed into law.” 

Wyoming PRIME Act

            Governor Gordon vetoed a bill passed by the legislature that would have allowed individuals to cut and sell uninspected meat in an unregulated facility if the federal regulations were changed to allow the same. WyFB supported this legislation. “WyFB policy supports food freedom, but we don’t want to run the risk of losing our state inspected plants,” Moline explained. “We supported this concept with the appreciation that until this can be done through federal rules the Wyoming law would not have gone into effect.”