Kemmerer City Administrator Brian Muir says there is legislation being proposed on creating special tax districts within a county to help fund special projects.
This will allow communities to set up temporary taxes. He and Representative Scott Heiner proposed this idea to the Finance Committee for the Senate and House of Representatives.
“We were able to get them to at least working on some language,” Muir said. “It passed the first phase to get to a draft stage.”
He says these districts could be set up in a custom way and then it would go off for approval to the county commission. Muir says cities and towns already have the power to request tax increases, but this allows several communities to set one up. Officials could temporarily raise taxes to increase revenues.
“I like to think of it, not only the ability to control our local tax base,” Muir said. “But also help us have the resources to invest and become more self-reliant like what we’re doing with our streets, for example.”
He says this is different from the Sixth-Penny Tax legislation being proposed which could still be passed. Any districts set up in this special legislation being considered would not apply to the whole county.
He says he is hoping to have the Joint Revenues Committee sponsor the bill.
“That increases the likelihood of it passing for us,” Muir said.
The committee will make a final vote and if passed there it will go to the House floor in the next Wyoming legislative session. He does note it will require two-thirds support due to the language in the state’s constitution for this upcoming session.
He says he hopes this will empower local governments and to essentially help find different sources of revenue.