By Stephanie Thompson
People Editor 

Sixth-penny tax to be removed soon


January 17, 2018


People Editor

The Special Purpose Use Tax, also known as the sixth-penny tax, will stop April 1.

During the Sweetwater County Commissioners meeting Tuesday morning, Chairman Reid West said Sweetwaer County treasurer Robb Slaughter is sending a letter to Kim Lovett, of the Excise Tax Division of the Wyoming Department of Revenue, requesting the collection of the Special Purpose Use Tax stop as of April 1, 2018.

The $81.2 million tax was voted on and passed in the 2012 election and the tax then started on April 1, 2013, so it took Sweetwater County five years to collect the money. This tax has been used by Sweetwater County towns and cities to improve infrastructure, including sewer, water and street projects.

In order to remove the tax, Slaughter must give a 60-day notice so it can stop at the beginning of a new quarter.

Slaughter said with the increased revenue in sales-tax collection, the tax is coming off sooner than anticipated. He said if the county doesn’t act now to take the sales take off, by the end of the next fiscal quarter, there could be an over collection of around $6 million, instead of the projected $200,000.

“We just want to thank the county for being so generous,” West said.

A lot of county projects were completed because of this tax, West said.

Commissioner John Kolb wanted to thank Slaughter for keeping such a close eye on the tax collection and lessening over collection as much as possible.

As for another Special Purpose Use Tax initiative, West said he couldn’t support it. He said there are a lot of projects that aren’t even done yet and the governing bodies throughout the county shouldn’t be asking or even wanting another tax until those projects are complete.

“I think we need to give it a break,” West said. “I think we need to give the taxpayers, the county a break and the industry a break. You know industry, they pay a big burden in all of this and they have not pushed back and I think they have been generous as well.

“I think, for one thing, it would be difficult to get on the ballot this year and to sell the public on it with the timing,” West said. “I don’t think it’s the right thing to do with unfinished projects from the previous one anyway.”

West wanted to see how the rest of the commissioners felt about the issue.

Commissioner Wally Johnson, along with the other commissioners, agreed with West.

“I whole heartedly agree with what you are saying,” Johnson said. “I think the sixth cent has been really a great vehicle for the county and has done some wonderful things ...”

Kolb said to ask for another tax so soon could lead to a mistrust the commissioners have with Sweetwater County residents. He said the commissioners cannot abuse the trust of its residents. He said other counties have done it and their initiatives failed.

“We do well here in Sweetwater County because we do not abuse it,” Kolb said.


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