Who pays the 1-Cent Optional Sales Tax?
Unlike property taxes, all purchasers of products and services in Sheridan County pay the 1-Cent Optional Sales Tax. Temporary employees in our communities, including those working in the construction and mineral development industries, are subject to the 1-Cent Optional Sales Tax.
The 1-Cent Optional Sales Tax applies only to items that are subject to sales and use tax. The 1-Cent Optional Sales Tax does NOT apply to sales of most foods for domestic home consumption, rental payments, home purchases or gasoline purchases.
Out-of-county visitors and tourists also pay this tax on qualifying purchases.
How much revenue is generated by the 1-Cent Optional Sales Tax?
It is estimated that over the next four years the 1-Cent tax will generate approximately $20 million ($5 million per year) for county, city and town improvements and essential public services and programs. Since its first passage in 1979, the 1-Cent has generated over $107 million for community infrastructure and services. View the 1-Cent renewal history here.
How are 1-Cent Optional Sales Tax funds used?
Each incorporated community within Sheridan County has traditionally established a list of priorities for the expenditure of 1-Cent tax revenues. In the past, the 1-Cent tax has funded significant community improvements including fire halls and equipment, senior transportation and equipment, water and sewer improvements, 911 ambulance service and a variety of economic and social services.
How has the 1-Cent Optional Sales Tax been used to leverage other funding?
Similar to Sheridan County’s Capital Facilities Tax, the 1-Cent Optional Sales Tax has been used by the communities and other recipients to leverage grants from state, federal and other sources. These sources often require matching funds as a condition of grants, meaning that the availability of 1-Cent Optional Sales Tax funds provides these entities with funding opportunities for services and projects that otherwise would not be accessible.
What happens if the 1-Cent Optional Sales Tax is not renewed?
1-Cent Optional Sales Tax funding helps local government entities keep infrastructure in good condition, but it also supports a diverse list of other services throughout the community. Unlike the Capital Facilities Tax, which is used exclusively for infrastructure projects, the 1-Cent Optional Sales Tax is also used for equipment and community services throughout the county.
If the 1-Cent Optional Sales Tax is not renewed, many of the services would still need to be continued, such as the hospital, emergency services, rural fire districts, and more. Without the 1-Cent Optional Sales Tax, these services would have to be paid for through other means by Sheridan County residents – either through increase in fees directly related to these services, or through increase in fees for other services when budgeting is reallocated to replace 1-Cent Optional Sales Tax support. In addition to health and safety, many other services throughout the county would be impacted by missing 1-Cent Optional Sales Tax funding, such as the Sheridan Senior Center, Tongue River Valley Community Center, and Sheridan Dog and Cat Shelter. These organizations would potentially need to increase fees as well to cover lost 1-Cent Optional Sales Tax funding, or would have to adjust services accordingly.
Does Sheridan County have the highest sales tax in the state?
Sheridan County voters, like those in 10 other Wyoming counties, have opted to implement both a 1% general purpose (1-Cent Optional) and a 1% specific purpose (Capital Facilities) sales tax. Another 10 counties implement the 1% general purpose tax without the specific purpose tax. In addition to the general purpose and specific purpose taxes, counties also have the option of implementing another tax for economic development; however, only Goshen County currently utilizes this tax.
In short, Sheridan County has the same sales tax rate as 10 other Wyoming counties, and voters have chosen to implement the 1% general purpose (1-Cent Optional) sales tax similar to those in 20 of 23 Wyoming counties.