Wyoming House of Representatives Focuses on Property Tax Relief Measures
CHEYENNE – As it continues its focus on Wyoming families and the economy, the Wyoming House of Representatives passed HB0098 Property tax-homeowner’s exemption Thursday to lower tax bills faced by Wyoming people due to inflation’s rising home values.
HB0098 provides a tax exemption to residential property owners that equals approximately $300 per year for homeowners. The bill provides relief to homeowners from paying property taxes on the first $50,000 of their homes’ fair market value. People who have lived in Wyoming for at least five years are eligible. The bill caps the discount at 25 percent of the home’s value.
“We are hearing from Wyoming homeowners that they need tax relief,” said Speaker Pro Tempore Clark Stith. “The Wyoming Legislature is focused on providing meaningful ways for Wyoming people who are shouldering this burden. This is good policy and a common-sense solution that delivers for Wyoming people who are feeling the strain of rising costs.”
HJ0002, a proposed constitutional amendment to create a separate classification for residential property, failed to pass the House on a 37-25 vote, as a two thirds supermajority is required for constitutional amendments. “Surprisingly, House members associated with the so-called Freedom caucus voted as a bloc against,” said Representative Stith.
Wyoming’s increases in property tax assessments are due to the rise in property values. The Wyoming Constitution contains most of the taxation provisions that set forth how these taxes are calculated, and some of the provisions date back prior to statehood.
In 1988, the Wyoming Legislature proposed an amendment to Article 15, Section 11 of the Constitution. That amendment, adopted by Wyoming voters, allows for different assessment rates for industrial property and all other property, specifies that agricultural land is to be valued based on the capability of the land to produce agricultural products and makes clear that the practice of valuing minerals at 100 percent of the value was within constitutional requirements.
The Wyoming House of Representatives also passed HB0099, increasing the threshold for an existing tax refund program, making more people eligible. HB0099 passed the House of Representatives on February 2, 2023.
“Because Wyoming property taxes provide funding to support schools, towns and counties, it is important that we strike the right balance and are thoughtful as we discuss changes,” continued Representative Stith. “Wyoming communities continue to remain a priority with this legislation.”
HB0001 also provides $5 million to fully fund the property tax refund program.