6th Penny FAQs
2018 Specific Purpose Excise Tax FAQ’s
Q: When is the election?
A: Tuesday, August 21, 2018.
Q: Why are we having an election now?
A: The specific purpose excise tax ends one quarter after the total funds have been collected. Having the election now keeps the tax rate constant to save vendors from having to change their cash registers.
Q: When will the current tax end?
A: The current collection is projected to end in December 2018.
Q: How was the current tax spent?
A: The current Specific Purpose Excise Tax, approved by Albany County voters November 29, 2010, raised $42 million.
- Albany County: $6M for road and bridge projects, $1.5M for airport, $300K for detention center, $380K for civic center debt relief, $338K for fairgrounds, and $2.2M for aquifer protection/I-80 spill containment.
- City of Laramie: $15.7M for water infrastructure, $3.6M wastewater infrastructure, $4.3M street improvements, $2.1M aquifer protection, and $1.6M solid waste disposal.
- Town of Rock River: $3M for water infrastructure, $40K for sewer infrastructure, $150K for rescue, and $150K for town hall.
Q: What projects are planned for the proposed tax?
A: Most of the projects planned are infrastructure—city streets, storm drainage, and public buildings. The ballot lists them all.
Q: Will my taxes go up?
A: No. This is NOT an additional tax. The rate remains the same—6%. It is a rollover for new purposes.
Q: Is the sales tax exemption on food still in effect? How long will it last?
A: Yes, the exemption is still in effect. Only the Wyoming State Legislature can reinstate the tax on food.
Q: When would the proposed tax end?
A: If the tax generates $400,000 a month as currently estimated, it will end in approximately 10 to 12 years pending actual sales tax collections.
Q: Will our taxes be higher than other counties?
A: No. These counties also have specific purpose excise taxes that are at a rate of 6%: Carbon, Crook, Hot Springs, Laramie, Niobrara, Platte, Sheridan, Teton and Weston Counties. Sales Tax in Ft. Collins is at a rate of 7.30%.
Q: How much of the tax do tourists and out–of-towners pay? A: Domestic and international travelers spent $158.3 million in Albany County and contributed $3.4 million in sales taxes, or 17% of all sales tax collections. Travel-generated tax revenues help support infrastructure and public services.
Q: What happens if any “excess” money is collected?
A: It is saved for one year and then allocated for the uses approved by the voters on the ballot.
Q: How were the projects chosen?
A: City, county, and town governments held a series of public meetings to determine which projects to fund. The newspaper covered joint meetings that determined final ballot items. Members of the public were present at all meetings.
Q: Why don’t we have a menu ballot?
A: The three elected boards decided to put all projects on a single ballot, as in past specific purpose tax elections.
Q: Can the money be used for any other projects?
A: No. By law, the money must be used for the projects as defined on the election ballot.
Q: What happens if the tax ballot fails?
A: Either the projects will be postponed, will not happen, or other funding sources must be found. The State Legislature has decreased funding to cities, towns, and counties by more than 50%, so it is very likely these projects will be postponed indefinitely as there are no other local means for funding.
Q: What is the tax effect the local economy?
A: The city and the county hope to use local contractors to do the work, to keep these tax monies circulating in the local community.
Q: What is the date and time of the election?
A: Tuesday, August 21, 2018, from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Q: Where can I vote?
A: Polling places are consolidated. The county’s website has information about your polling place: Please call 307-721-2546 or click here for more information.
Q: What will the ballot look like?
A: A sample ballot is available for your viewing at the court house, public library, or by clicking here. See directions included below.
Q: How do I vote absentee?
A: Early voting begins July 6, 2018 at the County Clerk’s Election Building on the east side of the courthouse. A qualified voter may apply for an absentee ballot at any time either in person or in writing to: Albany County Clerk, Courthouse, Suite 202, Laramie, WY 82070; or by telephone at 307-721-2546 or by clicking here.
Q: How can I register to vote?
A: People can register at the polls on Election Day. To register to vote, you must be:
- 18 years of age on Election Day;
- U.S. Citizen;
- Resident of Wyoming and the precinct in which you register;
- Withdraw voter registration from any other jurisdiction, if applicable;
- Present a valid Wyoming Driver License if you have one; if not, provide the last four digits of your Social Security Number. (If you have neither, indicate this on the Voter Registration Application form.)
- Not been convicted of a felony, or if convicted, have had civil or voting rights restored.
- Not adjudicated mentally incompetent.
Q: Where can I get additional information?
City of Laramie:
- email, click here.
- call: 307-460-8752
Laramie Regional Airport:
- email, click here.
- call: 307-742-4164
Q: What about the 5th cent, the optional sales tax?
A: Voters elect to renew the 5th cent tax every four years. This year, the renewal will be voted on at the General Election on November 6, 2018. The 5th Cent tax pays for about 18% of the City’s general services, such as street repair, police protection, fire response, ambulance services, parks, recreation, and building and code enforcement. Both the City and County use the 5th Cent tax to provide funding assistance to outside agencies.