The Cody City Council took a significant step towards gaining passage of a one-percent general purpose tax by approving a resolution delineating how those tax dollars would be spent.
Last Tuesday, the council unanimously approved the resolution obligating the city to use the proposed tax money for a detailed list of essential services including items such as street repairs, IT equipment, building maintenance and more.
Historically, Park County voters have rejected general purpose taxes, including as recently as 2012.
Park County voters seem intent on knowing what their tax dollars are going to be paying for before they sign up to pay more taxes. They don’t subscribe to the idea of “give us your money and trust us.”
It is no secret government at all levels in Wyoming will be suffering from budget deficits in the coming years. Municipalities, counties and the state need more revenue. Budgets have already been slashed.
One of the benefits of the 5th-cent tax is that local governments get to keep 99% of the 5th-cent, whereas local governments keep less than one-third of the existing 4% tax they collect.
It is also estimated approximately 37% of a voter-approved 5th-cent tax in Park County would be paid by travelers from outside the county and would also be collected in that part of Yellowstone Park in the county. Additionally the general purpose tax needs to be approved by voters every four years.
Increased revenue is an absolute necessity.
The City of Cody took the first big step by committing to a list of necessary expenditures. The city councils of Powell and Meeteetse and the Park County commissioners need to follow suit.
Park County voters generally don’t like paying more taxes, but they will tax themselves a one-percent general purpose tax if they can be shown what they are buying.