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Property tax refund bill breezes through introduction

A row of three houses, all beige, stretches toward the background. The first house has what appears to be a pink eviction notice, or maybe a foreclosure notice, taped to the front door.
David Dudley
Wyoming Public Media
A row of houses in downtown Cheyenne, Wyoming.

A bill that could expand access to Wyoming’s property tax refund program unanimously passed its introduction in the state House on Wednesday.

House Bill 4 aims to make more homeowners eligible for Wyoming's property tax refund program as property values remain high.

If passed, the bill would raise the income cap from 125 percent of the federal poverty level to 175 percent.

Representative Liz Storer, a Democratic lawmaker who lives in Teton County, said that this bill will help more homeowners pay their taxes.

"This allows people with somewhat higher incomes to get at least some property tax relief," said Storer. "The problem of affordable housing goes back to the Great Recession. This bill is one way that we're trying to help."

The refund program dates back to 2014, if not earlier. In 2021, homeowners were given $1,856,000 in relief. That number jumped to $8,269,000 in 2022, as 91 percent of applicants received relief.

“Last year, close to 300 households benefited from the refund program in Teton County,” Storer said.

Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon urged lawmakers to pass the bill Monday during hisstate of the state speech. In support of the bill, he earmarked $20 million to fund the program for the next two years.

Interested homeowners may apply through their county treasurer's office.

Lawmakers are slated to consider other property tax relief bills throughout the legislative session.

This reporting was made possible by a grant from the Corporation For Public Broadcasting, supporting state government coverage in the state. Wyoming Public Media and Jackson Hole Community Radio are partnering to cover state issues both on air and online.

David Dudley is an award-winning journalist who has written for The Guardian, The Christian Science Monitor, High Country News, WyoFile, and the Wyoming Truth, among many others. David was a Guggenheim Crime in America Fellow at John Jay College from 2020-2023. During the past 10 years, David has covered city and state government, business, economics and public safety beats for various publications. He lives in Cheyenne with his family.

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