The Wyoming Legislature’s 2024 budget session will prioritize fixing the rising property tax bill. Teton County officials discussed constituent concerns like property tax relief and a real estate transfer tax during a listening session.
Property Tax Relief: Balancing Act for Budget and Essential Services Ahead
Starting February 12, the legislative session will focus on defining the state budget for the following two years, with a small opportunity for non-budget legislation. Representatives Mike Yin and Liz Storer, who serve on the Joint Revenue Committee, have introduced five property tax relief proposals, including a 50% exemption for long-term residents and a return program expansion.
Lawmakers were concerned about some households obtaining a 100% property tax refund. The Joint Revenue Committee and other lawmakers want to reduce taxes using homestead exemption and property tax growth limitations.
Since property taxes fund education and municipal government, concerns have been raised concerning the impact. Teton County Assessor Melissa Shinkle and Treasurer Katie Smits stressed the administrative hurdles and expenses of such relief measures, including the need for more staff.
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Wyoming Legislators Navigate Property Tax Relief Impact on Municipalities and Essential Services
Wyoming Association of Municipalities Legislative Director Bob McLaurin encouraged legislators to help smaller municipalities that may lose money due to tax changes. He stressed the need for law enforcement and snow removal in smaller areas. State Senator Mike Gierau, a budget developer, recommended an expiration date for property tax measures to review their impact. Unexpected outcomes might be addressed with this fail-safe method.
Property tax relief may affect education and local government financing, which the Wyoming Legislature must balance. Lawmakers are weighing several options to slow growing property taxes while protecting key services and government budgets. The state struggles to combine constituent interests with long-term financial viability in the 2024 budget session.