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Property tax legislation prepped for upcoming 2023 session

Simpson and Dockstader review proposals with property tax subcommittee.

Four different property tax options are under consideration and have been reviewed as potential preliminary legislation by Rep. Evan Simpson and Senator Dan Dockstader in preparation for the 2023 Wyoming Legislative session.

The options were recently presented to a Legislative subcommittee focused on finding property tax relief plans for Wyoming.

In addition some of the information has been submitted for consideration as property tax relief bills in the upcoming Legislative session.

A summary of the options are listed below:

• Option 1

Place a maximum percentage increase that residences, businesses and commercial buildings (all other) property owners can experience each year. i.e. the maximum percentage increase per year would be “x” percent, regardless of the property assessment increase.

a. Would require a Constitutional Amendment.
b. This would be initiated by a legislative resolution.
c. Several states have this in place and their allowable increase ranges from 2% up to 10% per year.
d. It appears the cap increase would have to be less than 5% to ease the heavy increases.

• Option 2

Lower the reduction multiplier for homes, businesses and commercial buildings (all other) from 9.5% down to as potentially low as 7.5%.

a. This could be done with a Legislative Bill
b. This could represent as much as a 20% decrease in property taxes.
c. The downside would be non-growth counties would experience a significant decrease in local tax revenue.

• Option 3

Revamp the Assessment System to provide a Base that stays constant while you own your property.
a. Would require a Constitutional Amendment
b. This option would lock in “all other” property values at the 2019 assessed value.
c. That assessed value would be fixed as long as you own your property. No more market adjustments. No more appraisals. No inspections.
d. New homes and additions to homes would be assessed on a variable construction cost per square foot basis.
e. All existing home purchases since 2019 would be assessed at the higher valued rate.
f. County Assessors offices should be able to reduce their staff size.
g. This is a major shift from the way we do it now and would re- quire a lot of thought and investigation.

• Option 4

Reactivate a Homeowner’s Tax Credit program which is already on the books, but not active.

a. The Revenue Department has shared this option with us.
b. Originally set with a state reimbursement to counties & cities,but it wouldn’t have to be.
c. It would require Legislative action.
d. Upfront reimbursement, which means the initial tax bill would be reduced automatically.
e. There would be no forms to fill out or income level to document.
f. It would be a formula that could be adjusted over time; every property valued at, say, less than a million dollars (legislature to pick the value) would experience a sliding scale reduction in taxes.
g. It sounds easy but would be complicated to set up. Once established, however it could accomplish the goal without a constitutional amendment.

Let us know what you think!