Property tax issues loom at Capitol

Laramie, Wyo. – Wyoming lawmakers will consider a raft of property tax relief bills in the next legislative session.

Governor Dave Freudenthal has proposed to reactivate the Homestead Property Tax Exemption. That would help people whose homes are worth 237-thousand dollars or less, which includes the vast majority of Wyoming households. The average household would see a discount of 278 dollars.

There are at least a half-dozen other property tax measures in the works. Representative Colin Simpson of Cody says he'll bring back the idea of lowering the property tax rate on all businesses and homes.

"It would apply to any residential or commercial property owner. It would just lower the rate from 9.5 percent to a lower tax rate," Simpson says.

Simpson says he's considering slashing the rate by more than one percentage point. Speaker of the House Roy Cohee says he hasn't decided yet which bills to support. He cautions that lawmakers have to be careful about how many tax breaks they give during a national recession.