Rock Springs Council rejects tax increase information campaign

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FRESH WATER COUNTY – Rock Springs City Council unanimously voted to reject a memorandum of understanding with the County and Town of Green River on a one cent general purpose sales tax information campaign during of his meeting tonight.

Sweetwater County Commissioners and Green River City Council both unanimously approved the conclusion of the PE at their meetings today.

Under the amended MOU, each entity would be required to pay $ 10,000 to create information brochures to educate residents about the general purpose tax.

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At the Sweetwater County commission meeting this morning, Sweetwater County Assistant District Attorney John DeLeon said the memorandum of understanding had been reviewed by both cities and the county and everyone appeared to be agree with the language.

Rock Springs City Council tabled a motion earlier this year to get the deal done because it wanted a recommendation from Wyoming Attorney General Bridget Hill.

Cities and counties can use special tax funds to provide information brochures on the initiative. However, they were not sure whether the same was true for a general purpose tax.

DeLeon said cities and county have been told by Hill that they can use funds to provide general purpose tax information to the public, but cannot use them for marketing or advertising the initiative. .

Voice opposition

Councilor Keaton West noted that council had previously voted against imposing the general purpose tax on the ballot, so why would he contribute money to provide information to the public.

West added that the Council is still awaiting information on how the money will be spent and does not understand why Rock Springs is still supposed to take the lead in these initiatives.

“There are no definitive answers and it is difficult for the public to buy into them. It’s hard for our own governing body to accept… ”said West. “There is a lack of leadership and it will ultimately fail. “

I will not support spending money on something we did not approve 77 days ago. There are only 42 days left and I think it is igniting.

~ Rock Springs Keaton West City Councilor

Councilor Rob Zotti said Green River and the county are asking Rock Springs to spend money on an information campaign that is undefined at this point.

“Everything is a disaster in my opinion,” Zotti said. “There is a huge lack of leadership and nobody really wants to take it in hand and deal with it… It was quite embarrassing when I was talking to the voters and they were asking me questions, which should be basic questions, that I don’t even have the answer to. “

Mayor Tim Kaumo said he knew the whole process had been frustrating. But he fears that if this initiative fails, they could lose their credibility and risk the failure of the special tax in the voting booth.

“I know the intention is good. I know the way he was presented could have been fishy at best, ”Kaumo said. “I have no choice but to go all the way. “

However, he was the only Council member to vote in favor of the resolution. Council David Halter abstained and everyone else voted against the motion. The motion failed.

Green River Vote

Meanwhile, Green River City Council voted unanimously tonight to approve the MOU with very little discussion.

Councilor Gary Killpack called the general-purpose tax “excellent” as tourists and visitors to Sweetwater County will increase the coffers.

City administrator Reed Clevenger said the tax revenue generated by tourism from the increase could increase the bottom line by 20-30% on their own.

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