Teton County considers sales tax increase

Jackson, Wy – Teton County voters may consider a sales tax hike later this year. Local elected officials are weighing whether to put a half-percent tax increase on the August ballot. Teton County sales tax is currently six percent. Increasing it to six and a half percent would generate an estimated five million dollars per year, split between the town and the county. Jackson mayor Mark Barron says the town's revenue decreased by a third from December 2008 to December 2009. He says the extra sales tax would help Jackson weather the down economy without dipping into reserves.
"You know the town is in very good shape, we probably have 20 million dollars in liquid assets, and so we have good back-up reserves. The question is how responsible is it, and to what degree do you go into those reserves, to get through a period of time of unknown quantity."
Barron says he's hearing mixed reviews of the tax idea from Teton County residents. The town council and county commissioners have until May to decide whether to put the tax increase before voters.