Low-income property tax relief program at risk

(Jackson, Wyo.) - As the Wyoming Legislature wrestles with budget bills in the coming days and weeks, a tax refund program that provides relief to more than 100 low-income and elderly Teton County property owners will be at risk. The Wyoming Joint Legislative Appropriations Committee has voted to defund the Property Tax Refund Program for Wyoming’s two-year spending plan that spans fiscal years 2017-18, according to Teton County Treasurer Donna M. Baur. The Property Tax Refund Program was designed to help low-income taxpayers struggling with rising property taxes. It has aided thousands of Wyoming residents since its creation in 2003, according to state Department of Revenue officials in their budget request for the program. In the 2015 tax year, 126 Teton County taxpayers received a refund, Baur stated. “Approximately 30 percent of the 126 taxpayers in Teton County who received a refund last year are elderly and on a fixed income,” she added. Statewide last year, 2,145 taxpayers received a refund with a total amount of $874,160, according to Baur. “I urge anyone who has participated in this program to contact your local legislators and express your concerns about state funding to continue the Property Tax Refund Program,” Baur said. State lawmakers representing Teton County residents are: - Rep. Ruth Ann Petroff,, (307) 734-9446 - Rep. Marti Halverson,, (307) 883-0250 - Rep. Andy Schwartz,, (307) 413-6464 - Sen. Leland Christensen,, (307) 353-8204 Administered by the state Department of Revenue with the cooperation and assistance of county treasurers, the Property Tax Refund Program was last modified in 2004. Qualifying taxpayers may reduce their property tax liability if the applicant has been a resident of Wyoming for not less than five (5) years, and their household income is equal to or less than the greater of three fourths (3/4) of the median household income for the state or county in which they reside. Taxpayers must also qualify under asset limitation rules. *Feature Photo: Construction on Phase 2 of The Grove. Pitchengine Communities* #buckrail #news