Contact: Cindy Harger, Public Information Specialist
View press release as PDF
Jackson and Teton County elected officials will meet on Jan. 9 and Jan. 23 to discuss
the potential of funding community infrastructure projects through the specific
purpose excise tax (SPET), which citizens would vote on in May.
At the first
of the two meetings – at 3 p.m. on Monday,
Jan. 9 at the Town Hall -- the joint Teton County Board of County
Commissioners and Jackson Town Council will hear the recommendations of a special
committee formed last month. The committee has met three times in recent weeks
to vet more than $100 million dollars of possible projects.
early January meeting will be the first time both electeds and the public will hear
the results of the committee’s vetting, public comment will not be taken to allow
staff sufficient time to present the projects and explain how they were chosen.
The Town and County have scheduled a second meeting specifically for the
purpose of hearing public comment and providing time for electeds to discuss
the projects. That meeting will be on Jan.
23 at the County Administration Building and is tentatively scheduled for
the Jackson Hole community has chosen to use SPET funds to construct community
facilities, infrastructure projects, and public amenities that would otherwise
require other sources of revenue, such as bonds or increased property taxes.
The voter-approved 1 percent sales tax generates an estimated $10 million to $12
million a year and is paid by visitors and residents on most goods and
services, excluding food. Over the years, the SPET has provided more than $200
million of funding for voter-supported projects.
If the Town
Council and Board of County Commissioners move forward with a SPET election in
May, voters would have the opportunity to cast votes for or against specific
projects, which in the past have included jail facilities, the Rec Center,
waste water treatment, street construction, library improvements, schools, hospital
projects and securing the West Broadway landslide. Currently, the SPET is set
to expire in the spring, dropping the Teton County sales tax rate from 6
percent to 5 percent.
rates are very low compared to other mountain towns in the West with high
levels of tourism,” Mayor Pete Muldoon said. “Many of them have sales tax rates
over 9 percent, plus city property taxes and state income tax. While we don’t
need to match the tax levels of these towns, we do need to recognize that our
tax rates are extremely low, and that some of the proposed SPET projects can be
an investment in what matters to Jackson Hole as a community.”