JACKSON, Wyo. — Yesterday during the 2022 Wyoming Budget Session, the county option real estate tax came before the House but failed upon introduction in a 19-40-1 vote.

House Bill 35, sponsored by the Joint Revenue Interim Committee would impose a 1% tax on homes sold above $1,500,000, a $500,000 increase compared to the same bill proposed last year, HB128. The bill also requires voters to approve the tax during a general election year. The tax would need to be approved by voters every four years.

HB128 failed to move out of the Revenue Committee last March in a 5-4 vote.

Teton County Representative Mike Yin introduced the bill to the House floor. He said, “The median home price in the last quarter in Teton County was $2.9 million. This bill affects our workforce, our educators, snowplow drivers, judges, anyone that lives and works in Teton County.”

Representative Mark Baker from Sweetwater County opposed the bill. He said, “Often people don’t make investments in these big properties where the sponsor is from to flip them. They are buying them [houses] and holding them so we would only see really a one-time infusion.”

Goshen County Representative Shelly Duncan, called the bill an “unequal tax,” citing that the people voting on the bill are renters who wouldn’t have to pay the tax.

Baker and Duncan are both realtors.

Yin clarified that the tax would only affect the very wealthy based on a $1.5 million floor, and not the middle class or people trying to get into their first homes.

While the bill failed on introduction, the bill received the most support it has since its inception.

Every lawmaker representing Teton County supported the bill.

Lindsay Vallen is a Community News Reporter covering a little bit of everything; with an interest in politics, wildlife, and amplifying community voices. Originally from the east coast, Lindsay has called Wilson, Wyoming home since 2017. In her free time, she enjoys snowboarding, hiking, cooking, and completing the Jackson Hole Daily crosswords.