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Property tax bill that would refund 50% for senior citizens awaits Gov. Gordon's signature

The setting sun reflects off of a row of houses in downtown Cheyenne.
David Dudley
Wyoming Public Media
The setting sun reflects off of a row of houses in downtown Cheyenne.

Wyomingites have felt the pinch of higher home values since the pandemic. Median home prices in the state spiked from $96,000 in 2000 to $350,000 in 2023.

In response to this mounting crisis, lawmakers pushed for broad property tax reform during this year's Legislative budget session. Lawmakers passed a bill that will refund senior citizens up to 50 percent of their property tax bill.

Those who have owned their homes during that time may have seen the value of their homes triple. And their property taxes jumped accordingly. But many are living on fixed incomes.

Rep. Liz Storer (D-Jackson) said that she recognized that Wyomingites have faced a steep property tax burden. She said that those who live in Teton County have felt the impact acutely, which is why she spearheaded the bill.

"That will be exceedingly meaningful for people in my community," said Storer. "Our median property tax for this year, in Teton County, is over $11,000. That's more than four times what any other county has. So this is a meaningful reduction in taxes.”

Storer added that, though she doesn't know what the housing market will do in the next five years, she worries that high home values will persist.

Seattle-based real estate brokerage Redfin estimated that fewer than two of every tenhomes on the market in 2023 were affordable to the average household. Redfin defines affordable as less than 30 percent of a county's median income. As long as home values remain high, property taxes will too.

The bill is awaiting Governor Gordon's signature. If signed into law, it will go into effect in 2025.

To hear more from Rep. Storer, please listen to the extended interview on Open Spaces Friday, March 15 at 3 p.m. or Sunday, March 17 at 12 p.m. 

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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