Northern Wyoming Daily News - Serving the Big Horn Basin for over 100 years

By Karla Pomeroy
Editor 

One-cent group works on finalizing survey

WORLAND - With 10 entities interested in receiving some of the general purpose one-cent sales tax revenue, the process of narrowing down the list, or determining the percentage of revenue has begun.

 

February 21, 2018

WORLAND - With 10 entities interested in receiving some of the general purpose one-cent sales tax revenue, the process of narrowing down the list, or determining the percentage of revenue has begun.

During a meeting Tuesday, facilitated by Washakie County, Terry Wolf advised the interested parties that the next step is to finalize the information to be put on a survey for the public. The survey, once ready, will be available through survey monkey and one will be published in the Northern Wyoming Daily News.

In 2014, the last time the sales tax was on the ballot. Six entities were ultimately places on the ballot to receive the optional sales tax revenue - Ten Sleep and Worland senior centers, Town of Ten Sleep, City of Worland, Worland Community Center Complex and Crisis Prevention and Response Center. During the same process the groups are not under, the Washakie Development Authority, Washakie County, Worland Aquatic Center, Pepsi Wyoming BBQ Championship and Bluegrass Festival Committee and Washakie County Library all stepped aside and withdrew requests for funding.

This year, in addition to the six currently receiving funding, there are four entities seeking to be included in receiving some of the one-cent sales tax revenue. They are Worland Fire Department, WDA, Worland Youth Learning Center and Washakie County Youth Alternatives.

Wolf said the survey will work much the same way as it did four years ago with Washakie County residents asked to rank the 10 entities in order of priority.

There will also be a space for comments or questions.

The survey will include information on what the six entities have used the tax for during the past four years, as well as what all 10 entities plan to use the tax for, if it is again approved by voters, for the next four years.

The tax was approved overwhelmingly in November 2014 with 64.5 percent of county voters voting in favor.

The tax, according to information provided by Wolf at Tuesday's meeting, is anticipated to generate about $5 million over the four-year period, down from the projected $6 million in 2014.

The City of Worland receives the largest percentage of the tax at 45 percent, followed then by the Town of Ten Sleep.

Once the final entities are decided, a one-cent sales tax committee will also determine the percentages of revenue for each entity.

The general purpose sales tax can be continued automatically by resolution from the county, Worland City Council and Ten Sleep Council, but the government entities have decided every four years to take the sales tax to the voters.

The sales tax will be on the ballot during the November general election. A resolution to get the question on the ballot must be passed by resolution by the county and the two municipalities by Aug. 27.

Wolf asked the entities to provide him with information regarding what the tax would be used for so the survey could be finalized and approved at the next one-cent meeting on March 6 at 4:30 p.m.

In addition to the 4 percent sales tax the state levies, counties may impose up to 3 percent in additional general purpose, specific purpose and economic development taxes with voter approval, according to Wyoming Statute 39-15-204.

Currently 21 of Wyoming's 23 counties levy the general purpose tax with Park and Sublette counties not levying the general purpose tax.

By statute the general purpose tax may be continued "if favorably supported by a resolution adopted by the governing body of the county and by ordinances adopted by the governing bodies of at least a majority of the incorporated municipalities within the county."

Big Horn County has continued the tax by resolution and ordinance. Washakie County has not considered that option, with Commission Chairman Terry Wolf stating that they prefer to bring the tax back before the voters every four years.

Eleven counties levy the specific purpose tax, including Hot Springs County, which was approved in 2016. Only one county, Goshen, levies the .25 percent tax for economic development. 

 
 

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