Wyoming Property Tax Relief Initiative Criticized
An initiative proposed to halve Wyoming homeowners’ property taxes is receiving mixed reviews.
While thousands of residents utilized the property tax refund program that saw income-qualifying property owners receive partial refunds on their 2022 taxes, lawmakers are questioning the “People’s Initiative to Limit Property Tax in Wyoming through a Homeowner’s Extension” conditionally certified by Wyoming Secretary of State Chuck Gray last month.
With rising home prices and therefore heftier property tax bills, the initiative seems fiscally helpful for Wyoming residents.
Lawmakers are concerned about K-12 funding if property taxes are slashed. It could result in a loss of millions for educational funding when Wyoming lawmakers have in sessions past voted down initiatives to generate further educational funding.
In a similar proposal, House Bill 98 sought to exempt up to $50,000 of a home’s fair market value. It died in the Revenue Committee.
Both the Wyoming Taxpayers Association and the Petroleum Association of Wyoming lobbied against HB 98, arguing property tax relief for homeowners would mean heftier taxes for the billion-dollar minerals industry.
The bill needs 100 voter signatures by the end of September for full consideration and a further 30,000 voter signatures by February in order to make it to the 2024 ballot.
“The people’s right to propose and enact laws by initiative to address fundamental issues, such as property tax limits, is pivotal to our state,” Secretary Gray said in a news release. “At the Secretary of State’s Office, we take our role in the initiative process very seriously, and will work diligently to ensure the ‘People’s Initiative to Limit Property Tax in Wyoming through a Homeowner’s Exemption’ is processed efficiently and in accordance with Wyoming law.”