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House kills real estate tax | Local | jhnewsandguide.com – Jackson Hole News&Guide

A bill to give Wyoming counties the ability to institute real estate transfer taxes failed an introduction vote 19-40 on Wednesday morning in the state House of Representatives.

Democrats in the chamber, including two from Teton County who have pushed for the measure, are outnumbered 7 to 51.

During a budget session like this year’s legislative session, a non-budget bill can be introduced in the Wyoming House or Senate only by a two-thirds majority vote.

Following the county’s record-setting $2.93 billion in real estate sales in 2021, Rep. Mike Yin, D-Teton, said the bill was his No. 1 priority going into the session.

Jackson Hole Real Estate Sales for rett reference

All three Teton County representatives voted in favor of the bill, which would allow counties to consider a 1% tax for any value in a sale above $1.5 million if voters approved the measure.

This past December was the first year the joint Revenue Committee advanced the bill.

Rep. Andy Schwartz, a Teton County Democrat, introduced the bill, and this is his fifth year lobbying for it.

“We have such a severe disconnect in the capacity to provide housing for the workforce, we need to generate significant revenue,” Schwartz said. “We need tens of millions of dollars on a yearly basis to have any impact on the situation.”

Though it was killed before reaching a vote, the idea behind HB 35 is gathering more public steam.

The Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce publicly endorsed the county-optional real estate transfer tax this session.

Chamber President and CEO Anna Olson, in a guest shot in Wednesday’s issue of the Jackson Hole News&Guide, the Daily’s sister publication, cited its potential to “reduce reliance on state funds, giving the state flexibility to use those funds for other priorities like mental health or education.

“With the lodging tax in place to help mitigate the impact of tourism, a real estate transfer tax could mitigate the impact of luxury real estate.”

In the last three years, a real estate transfer tax in Teton County would have raised over $40 million, Olson wrote.

“In that same time, $29 million of public funding has been used to leverage $86 million in private funding to build 189 permanently deed-restricted homes. Imagine if we had an additional $40 million at our fingertips,” she added.

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