Cheyenne – Teton, Lincoln and Sublette county legislators played key roles in two bills that will help provide relief from high property tax rates. Senate Joint Resolution #3 and House Enrolled Act No. 75 (HB-99) work together to expand much needed short-term relief and the first step toward long-term reform.
SJR3’s final language began as an idea brought to the Joint Revenue Interim committee by Rep. Mike Yin (D – Jackson) to amend Wyoming’s constitution to create a class for residential property separate from commercial properties and a sub-class for owner-occupied primary residences. With those changes, legislators can bring relief to homeowners in future legislation. Sponsored by Sen. Dan Dockstader (R – Afton), Rep. Allred (R – Afton) and Rep. Byron (R – Hoback), SJR3 took many twists and turns throughout the legislative process and ultimately included language from another bill sponsored by Speaker Albert Sommers (R – Pinedale). The resolution will place language on the general election ballot in 2024 for the citizens of Wyoming to approve and thus required a 2/3rds vote in both the House and Senate.
“This legislation wouldn’t have been possible without the hard work and perseverance of Rep. Storer (D- Jackson), who adapted my original bill into a more comprehensive solution for the people of Wyoming,” said Dockstader. “We all worked together to make this happen.”
HB-99 was also signed into law by Governor Gordon on Thursday; it expands the property tax refund program to help more homeowners access tax relief. The legislation raises the household income and asset limits to qualify and adds a circuit breaker amendment that aims to help ensure longtime residents qualify for the program. This expansion also came out of the Interim Revenue committee and was worked during the session by committee members Rep. Byron and Rep. Storer.
The upper household income limit for the program in Teton County is $128,386, while it is $94,840 in Lincoln County and $95,879 in Sublette County. People can go to https://wptrs.wyo.gov or call (307) 777-7320 to learn whether they qualify and how to apply.
“Throughout the session, we debate ideas, and with any luck, we craft bills with the best ideas by the time we finish,” said Speaker Sommers. “These two bills represent how bipartisan efforts across the House and Senate can succeed in responding to the needs of Wyoming’s citizens.”