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‘One-cent’ tax passes with 66.95% of the vote in Natrona County

(Dan Cepeda, Oil City News)

CASPER, Wyo. — A 1% optional sales and use tax will remain in place in Natrona County for another four years after voters approved renewal of the optional countywide tax during the General Election.

Renewal of the “one-cent” tax passed with 15,031, or 66.95%, of voters voting in favor of renewal. 7,420, or 33.05%, of voters voted against one-cent.

As Wyoming imposes a statewide 4% sales and use tax, the local optional 1% sales and use tax is sometimes referred to as either the “one-cent” or the “fifth-penny.” Tax revenues from the “one-cent” are shared between Natrona County and the municipalities of Casper, Mills, Evansville, Bar Nunn, Midwest and Edgerton based on a population formula.

Local governments are able to use one-cent revenues for general purposes, including everything from street maintenance to buying equipment for fire departments to subsidizing swimming pool fees.

The tax has generated over $200 million in revenue shared between local governments in Natrona County since it was first approved by voters in 1974.

The City of Casper anticipates its share of one-cent revenues will total around $64.5 million over the next four years. The Casper City Council has approved a plan as to how those revenues will be used. Details about Casper’s plan for the money are available in this article.

Wyoming law allows local 1% general purpose taxes if those are approved by voters. As this is in addition to the 4% statewide sales and use tax, the general purpose local 1% tax is often referred to as the “fifth-penny” when it is being discussed by the state legislature. Wyoming law also allows local governments to ask voters to support an additional 1%, or “sixth-penny” tax, that can be put toward specific projects. No “sixth-penny” question was put before Natrona County voters during the 2022 General Election.