Letter to the Sheridan Press Editor:
At the risk of having my name and picture plastered across a postcard and sent county-wide, as District 51 Rep. Cyrus Western has been known to do anonymously, I would like to reply to his Guest Column which appeared a few weeks ago concerning the People’s Property Tax Initiative.
I am the captain for Sheridan County and have over 20 folks circulating the people’s petition which, if we receive enough signatures state-wide, will be placed on the November, 2024 ballot. What does this initiative mean to the average property owner? This petition if passed next November, 2024 would reduce the evaluation on a taxpayer’s primary residence by 50% provided they have lived in the house for one year starting.
Mr. Western and other crony legislators had an opportunity to reduce property taxes last session when they were presented with 21 different bills to help the WY taxpayers. With lots of excuses, they did not get the job done. But now that this People’s Initiative is showing very strong support, Mr. Western and his ‘Legislative Leadership’ have conjured up a plan. The problem is that again, our legislature which will start a budget session in February will need to pass something. Will it be a repeat performance of last year?? Methinks it will be lots of hot wind and no action. Many of our current legislators and county officials haven’t met a dollar they cannot resist spending or pocketing in one of their many buckets.
Also some of the county officials across the state are crying foul saying their counties will break their piggy bank, school systems as well! The total amount of reduction across the state will be about $140 Million. Let’s look at it a different way. Currently in Wyoming, there are $28 BILLION dollars in state and county savings accounts. Rainy day accounts, trust funds, you name it, they have a name for pigeon-holing your money instead of letting it be in YOUR savings accounts or pockets. If the People’s Initiative is successful, property taxes would still rise by $573 Million in 2026.
Already in WY, 3000 homes have tax liens. Many of these folks are elderly on fixed income having to choose between paying for their taxes on their forever home or paying for food, meds, and other necessities. If they lose their home and must go on Medicaid, the taxpayer will be paying much more to keep these folks comfortable but not in their own homes. What would you choose? Many more are younger who need to feed their families as well as try to survive in the current high inflation--high gas prices, high food prices, high everything.
So if you as a registered voter, have not signed and do want to, please contact me, and we will get a petition for you to sign. Please leave a message at 307/673-1183 Also to look at the State Treasurer’s 2023 Report, go to statetreasurer.wyo.gov.
Merry Christmas to all. “Let’s git ‘er dun!”