Town and county officials vetted community projects and finalized a SPET project ballot list. Now, it’s the public’s turn to decide which proposals they would like to vote for in a May 2nd special election.
The Town of Jackson and Teton County are jointly hosting two public open houses on the Specific Purpose Excise Tax (SPET) election:
- 1) Wednesday, March 15, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., at the Center for the Arts, Center Theater Lobby.
- 2) Wednesday, April 19, from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., at the Teton County Library Ordway Auditorium.
The open houses will provide opportunities for the public to stop by SPET proposal booths, learn about the initiatives and ask questions of project representatives. To allow for varying citizen schedules, one open house will be during the day over the lunch hour, and the other will be in the evening.
The SPET is an optional, voter-approved 1 percent sales tax paid by visitors and residents on most goods and services purchased within the county, excluding food. The tax has been in place since the 1980s and provides approximately $10-$12 million a year toward public capital construction and infrastructure projects.
Electeds narrowed the list to the following proposals, each of which will appear on the ballot as separate items:
- Replacement of current START Buses and Purchase of Additional START Buses: $6.5 million
- Town/County Government Employee Housing at START Bus Facility: $8.3 million
- Central Wyoming College (CWC) – Jackson Center: $3.82 million
- Town of Jackson Pedestrian Improvements: $1.5 million
- County/Town Recreation Center Capital Repair, Replacement and Renovation: $2.4 million
- Town/County Housing at Parks and Recreation Maintenance Facility: $2.9 million
- Redmond/Hall Affordable Housing/Rentals Project: $4.05 million
- Fleet Maintenance Facility and START Bus Storage: $15.33 million
- Fire Station #1 (Jackson) and Fires Station #3 (Hoback) Improvements: $6.8 million
- St. John’s Living Center: $17 million
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The electeds also approved an additional, related ballot item requesting citizens’ stamp of approval on how to use funds leftover from a recent South Park Loop Pathway SPET project, which came in under budget. The electeds are proposing to use the approximately $1.5 million of leftover funding toward a South U.S. Highway 89 pathway, underpass and wildlife fencing.
The number of projects approved does not impact the amount of sales tax paid, but rather the length of time the tax is collected before new projects are put forward to the voters. If none of the proposals obtains a majority of the vote, the tax ends when previous voter-approved projects are funded.
- Town of Jackson website: https://townofjackson.com/current/referendum-election-info/
- Teton County website: www.tetonwyo.org/SPET
- Joint Town-County election resolution: http://www.tetonwyo.org/bcc/docs/BCC-2017- SPET%20Resolution.pdf
- Voting information: http://www.tetonwyo.org/cc/topics/elections/100018/