5th Penny FAQs

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5th Penny - General Purpose Tax FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: What will the ballot say? 

A: Ballot  Proposition 1  states - "Shall the Board of County Commissioners of the County of Albany, State of Wyoming, be authorized to impose a general purpose excise tax of 1% upon retail sales of tangible personal property, admissions and services made within the County for general revenue purposes?"  Voters may choose to vote “FOR the County sales and use tax” or “AGAINST County sales and use tax.“  Click here to view a sample ballot.

Q: Are there other ways to renew the tax?

A: Albany County, Rock River and the City of Laramie may renew the tax by Proclamation of the Governing Bodies; however, have not chosen to do so. 

Q: How long will the tax last?

A: The tax is limited in time to a period of four years. The tax, if approved by voters, would be up for renewal in 2022.

Q: Will my taxes go up?

A: No.  This is a tax renewal.  If approved by voters, your sales tax rate will remain the same as it currently is. 

Q:  Will food be taxed?  

A: No. Food sales are exempt from sales tax.

Q:  Will our taxes be higher than other counties?

A: No. These counties also have a tax rate that is the same as Albany County:  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 visitors and tourists 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.  Click here for more detailed information on the impact of travel and tourism in Laramie.

Q. When could the tax be back on the ballot if it is defeated? 

A: If the proposition to renew the tax is defeated, the proposition could be re-submitted to the electors of the County in eleven (11) months.  

Q. When would the tax stop if it is not renewed in November?

A: If the proposition fails the tax will not be collected after June 30, 2019.  

Q. Is this tax different than the lodging tax?4 Lodging Tax Logo Opens in new window

A: Yes.  Albany County voters also have approved a separate lodging tax that is paid by people using hotels and motels.   The lodging tax generated $700,000 last year that the Tourism Board uses to promote tourism in Albany County. To learn more about the efforts of the Albany County Tourism Board click here.

Q. Who pays this tax?  

A: Anyone who purchases goods in Albany County pays this tax —students, residents, and visitors alike.

Q. How is the optional sales tax distributed?

A: The State of Wyoming collects the tax and distributes it to Albany County, the City of Laramie, and Town of Rock River, based on population. The State deducts a 1% administrative fee before distributing the funds, providing 99% of the tax to our local governments. 

Q. How is the sales tax used?

A: The optional one cent sales tax can be used for general operations of government.  Albany County has used it for road materials, fire equipment, defibrillators, election laptops, the Laramie River Restoration Project, and to support community partner agencies.  The City of Laramie has used it for streets and alleys, parks and trails, ambulance services, fire fighting services and equipment, drainage, police services and equipment, and to support community partner agencies.  Rock River has used it as a general fund for town operations providing funding toward the town hall, the maintenance and subsidizing of water and sewer operations and infrastructure.  Both the City of Laramie and Albany County fund non-governmental agencies with optional sales tax. For a list of "community partner agencies" please click here.

Q. What items are not taxed?  

A: Food and services are not taxed. 

Other Information:  

Q:  What is the date and time of the election?                  

A:   Tuesday, November 6, 2018, from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Q:  Where can I vote? 

A:  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:  Ballot  Proposition 1  states - "Shall the Board of County Commissioners of the County of Albany, State of Wyoming, be authorized to impose a general purpose excise tax of 1% upon retail sales of tangible personal property, admissions and services made within the County for general revenue purposes?"  Voters may choose to vote “FOR the County sales and use tax” or “AGAINST County sales and use tax.“  Click here to view a sample ballot.

Q:  How do I vote absentee?

A:  Early voting begins September 21, 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's 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:

  • website, click here
  • email, click here.  
  • call: 307-721-5226

Albany County:

  • website, click here.  
  • email, click here.  

Rock River:

  • email, click here.  
  • call:  307-460-8752