No SPET for 2018, but process will be discussed next month

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – Town and county elected officials will discuss Specific Purpose Excise Tax (SPET) at an upcoming joint meeting July 2.

Specific ideas and concepts for potential projects will not be discussed at the meeting, nor will electeds be taking any input from sponsors of projects hoping to get on a 2018 SPET ballot. There won’t be one.

Local government leaders discussed SPET in general recently at a JIM and decided to pick up the topic July 2. The agenda was to only to discuss and outline a process, complete with deadlines and other key dates, for SPET to go through.

In recent years, SPET discussions and consideration of projects has been extremely time-consuming as electeds have sifted through dozens of proposals with SPET asks totaling in excess of $100m. The lengthy procedure has often butted up against a deadline for SPET items to appear on an election ballot.

Commissioners and council members are seeking to create additional structure and formalize the process in order to create more transparency and predictability for the public, and for those seeking funding through the SPET process.

The most recent SPET projects were considered in May 2017, and approvals included:

  • Jackson/Teton County Housing at Parks & Recreation Maintenance Facility
  • Central Wyoming College Jackson Center
  • Town of Jackson Pedestrian Improvements
  • Jackson/Teton County Recreation Center Capital Repair, Replacement, and Renovation
  • Fire Station #1 and #3 Improvements
  • St. John’s Living Center
  • South Hwy 89 Pathway/South Park Boat Ramp Underpass

The funding source for SPET is a 1% sales tax paid by visitors and residents on most goods and services purchased within Teton County. The SPET raises approximately $10 to $12 million annually and has helped to fund nearly $220 million worth of community enhancements.

The special JIM is scheduled for Monday, July 2, from 3-5pm in the Board of Commissioners Chambers.

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