Revenue committee sponsors resolution to add property classification to Wyo. constitution

By: 
Jasmine Hall with the Wyoming Tribune Eagle, via the Wyoming News Exchange

CHEYENNE – A joint resolution that would create a new class of property came out of the Wyoming Legislature’s Joint Revenue Committee this week. 

Members of the committee voted to sponsor the resolution and two bills Monday after spending the evening deliberating the best approach for offering property tax relief. There were debates among lawmakers on constitutionality and the amount of relief that should come from the state and municipalities. 

The first draft considered for sponsorship was a joint resolution that would need to be voted on in the 2024 general election, if it were to come out of the Legislature with two-thirds support in each chamber. It would amend the Wyoming Constitution and add a fourth class of property. 

The current three are gross production of minerals and mine products in lieu of taxes of the land where produced; property used for industrial as defined by the Legislature; and all other property, real and personal. 

Adding “residential real property” as a class is for “the purpose of property tax assessments and authorizing certain exemptions and subclasses related to residential real property.” 

The Legislature also would be given the power to create a subclass of residential real property for primary homeowners and apply exemptions to them, as well as any other subclasses of residential real property.

“This is a constitutional amendment that the Wyoming Realtors have had on their public policy advocacy stance for decades, probably before I even became affiliated with them,” said Wyoming Realtors government affairs director Laurie Urbigkit. “We have always believed that residential should be taken out, so that, indeed, it could be treated differently.” 

She said creating a subclass to differentiate between a primary residence and a second home was a twist, but it gave the Legislature the authority to look at the issue as it saw fit. 

The Realtors group was also supportive of this change. 

The Wyoming Farm Bureau was against the resolution. 

Brett Moline said its members believed there was a sufficient number of classes and had concerns regarding splitting up the different types of residential classes. 

Two other bills were sponsored by the committee with a multitude of amendments. One would amend qualifications for the current property tax refund program, and the other addresses property tax increase limits. 

Lawmakers will consider the legislation during the 2023 general session that begins Jan. 10.

 

This story was published on Nov. 25, 2022.

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