Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon said he supports property tax relief, as long as it doesn't burden local governments and the minerals industry in the state.
Meanwhile, Wyoming's secretary of state said it is time to stop a 50 percent rise in property taxes in Park and other counties.
The Park County Republican Party’s Freedom Celebration brought all of Wyoming's state leaders, and its entire congressional delegation to the Memorial Park in Cody Monday. U.S. Sens. John Barasso and Cynthia Lummis, Congresswoman Harriet Hageman, and Gordon all addressed the crowd with the usual patriotic speeches.
But, Wyoming Secretary of State Chuck Gray brought up a hot issue.
“We absolutely have to get control on these out-of-control property tax increases. We’re seeing 50 percent increases, year to year, especially in Park County," he said.
Gray knows Wyomingites are upset about the increases, which are caused by newcomers paying higher prices for local homes. That raises the taxable valuation of property for people who have lived in their small homes for years. Many are retirees.
He explained that when he was in the House of Representatives, “we saw this coming. We filed a lot of cap bills and unfortunately failed in 2020-2021. We need to take this to the finish line.”
Gordon said, “It’s clear that we make sure that our tax code is competitive, and that we do a very good job of making sure that retirees can feel comfortable.”
Gordon said tax reform is up to the state Legislature. He said more than just property owners need to be protected.
"And not set us up to take away power from our local governments which have the most accountability, number one, or try to burden our mineral companies, which pay most of our taxes," he said.
Gordon pointed out the Legislature passed a constitutional amendment, that Wyomingites will vote on this year.
The amendment “will allow us to value personal property differently than commercial property. That will allow us to reduce residential property tax,” he said.
But, even if the voters pass the constitutional amendment, the reduction is also up to the Legislature.