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Governor Gordon Signs Property Tax Relief Bills Into Law

Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon

During his 2024 State of the State speech, Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon said he wanted fair and equitable property tax relief for Wyomingites who need it most, calling on lawmakers to get him something on his desk by the end of the 2024 legislative session.

State Senators and Representatives responded by drafting a number of bills concerning property tax relief, finally approving a handful of bills and sending them to the governor for his to sign, veto, or let go into law without his signature.

Governor Gordon signed four bills that extend and expand property tax relief.

The Governor signed HB0003 – Property tax exemption for long-term homeowners; HB0045 – Property tax exemption-residential structures and land; and SF0089 – Veterans ad valorem exemption-amount.

House Bill 3 provides an exemption of 50% of a property’s value for primary residence homeowners if the primary owner of the residence or their spouse is 65 or older and has paid property taxes in the state for 25 years or more. House Bill 45 puts a 4% cap on year-to-year property tax increases on residential structures and land, while Senate File 89 doubles the veterans tax exemption from $3,000 to $6,000 of assessed value. 

“I am happy to sign this package of legislation, which provides targeted relief to taxpayers most impacted by increasing valuations, while ensuring our counties and schools are able to continue to provide the services our residents rely on,” Governor Gordon said in a press release. “There was an identified need, and this legislature responded to that.”

Governor Gordon exercised his line-item veto authority on HB0004 – Property tax refund program, removing the highest income category from the program. In his letter explaining the line-item, the Governor said the bill brings expanded and needed relief, but expressed concern that the $20 million appropriated by the Legislature would be insufficient to fund the program if that highest income category was included.

“I want to thank the Legislature for answering the call and funding an expansion of this program, which helped more than 9,000 Wyoming families last year,” Governor Gordon said.

The Governor vetoed SF0054 – Homeowner tax exemption, expressing concern that the exemption was not targeted and jeopardized the financial stability of the state and counties. It  represented, “a socialistic type of wealth transfer, mostly from the energy sector, to Wyoming homeowners.” The backfill of lost local tax revenue to local school districts, cities, towns, counties and special districts would likely cost the state more than $220 million for the biennium, the Governor wrote.  

“The Bidenomic-type of ‘tax relief’ in this bill is what I would expect from Washington, D.C. liberals, not conservative Wyoming legislators,” the Governor added. “It is a temporary relief measure that could lead to budget shortfalls, and will ultimately be paid for by raising taxes on our children.”

The Governor’s letters addressing his vetos and the bills he allowed to go into law without his signature, along with the full list of bills he has taken action on during the 2024 Legislative Session can be found on the Bills page of the Governor’s website.

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