The 6th penny tax is something that has been considered for the last handful of years in Lincoln County. The ballot initiative has been mostly supported in Kemmerer and the southern portion of the county, but has failed in elections due to the lack of support in Star Valley.
Wyoming has a 4% automatic sales tax with an option for 5% county by county. Currently Park and Sublette counties are the only two in the state at 4%. Sales tax revenue is allocated to the state, county and local municipalities. The state does allow for counties to enact a temporary extra percent on sales taxes, known as the 6th penny. These taxes can be used to fund special projects or needs. The tax needs to be enacted by a popular vote and must include a sunset or end date once the needed funds are met. (Source: WyoExtension.org) In past elections the 6th penny was on the ballet to fund county infrastructure projects, specifically road improvements in south Lincoln County.
While not an official proposal, an idea was floated by Kemmerer City Administrator Brian Muir during a live interview on SVI Radio that one possible way to get support for the tax in north Lincoln County would be to include a swimming pool. The thinking is south Lincoln gets funds for much needed improvements, Star Valley gets a long awaited community swimming pool.
During the Weekday Wakeup on SVI Radio last week, Duke & Dahl asked listeners their opinion on the idea. Does the thought of a swimming pool change your vote on the 6th penny tax? Does the current rate of property taxes play into your thinking? Below are their responses.
“As soon as I know what the county is using my increased property taxes over the past 3 years for then I would take a look at it!”
“Yes it would change my vote but only after we can get the brakes put on property taxes.”
“I think a rec center with a pool centrally located would possibly sway my vote to yes.”
“Yes! Only if the swimming pool is centrally located in the center of the valley!”
“I would throw my sixth penny in that pool.”
“Living in Kemmerer from what I/we see Star Valley area gets what they want, we as the purse for this county get neglected, so yes we have a hope that the .06 come through with the hopes we can get a pothole fixed. Just a thought.”
“I’m for it but you must remember that the greatest expense of a pool is annual maintenance. Will the tax continue for upkeep?”
“Yes!!! Our community needs it! We really blew it when we built that Civic Center instead of a rec center.”
“Absolutely! Our kids need a place to swim and a rec center to play ball in.”
“Yes. It’s ridiculous that we don’t have a pool.”
“Yes! Do the tax!!”
“Yes I am big time in favor of a six penny tax for a swimming pool/rec center. We need one so badly! We need something for families to do during in the winters especially.”
Would Not Support
“Optional and temporary, such a joke!! Where is all the increased property tax going?”
“No, definitely not. Still would not vote for a six penny tax. They would want to redo it year after year after year to try to sustain the swimming pool. So heck no.”
“I think that people are more concerned about the higher property taxes right now. I would rather not see any more tax now.”
“No. Tax never goes back down. We have lakes and rivers to play in. Kemmerer should be allowed to up their tax on liquor sales to help pay for what they need.”
“No new taxes. We need less taxes on everything not to vote for more. This fat government local and up, doesn’t appropriate the money correctly already. The idea of a pool is good but then they will want more and more to fund it continually.”
“No, we get taxed enough as is. Reallocate some of the money taken in taxes to fix the roads, definitely no to more taxes for a swimming pool.”
“No, the property tax hike should take care of a swimming pool. They can’t account for where it’s going anyway.”
“Sounds like the old bait and switch. Typical politician.”
“It’s obvious that if anybody votes for six penny tax, they don’t pay their outrageous property tax that we just received. Our elected officials should be proud of themselves for taxing this county into poverty.”
“The sixth penny thing brings up stuff that the county residents need to get over. It is not north and south Lincoln County. We should be for it helps the county residents. Not if we get a swimming pool they can have the water or sewer that is needed for life. We need to get to we as Lincoln County not north and south.”
“Last time people talked about a pool the liability insurance was 2 million dollars a year plus upkeep.”