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September 23, 2008 3:00 am

Consider another capital facilities tax

Written by Tribune Staff

The county-wide 1-percent capital facilities tax is predicted to be in effect for another year, give or take a month.

The proceeds from that tax, a total of $13.2 million, are funding much-needed projects in Cody, Meeteetse and Powell.

In just a few weeks, the new Cody branch of the Park County Library will open. Pool construction and remodeling in Meeteetse is nearing completion, and construction of the family aquatic center in Powell will begin sometime this fall.

While few of us like the idea of higher taxes, the capital facilities tax is a way to pay for facilities like these that make the communities of Park County better places to live.

And most would agree that the tax is relatively painless. For every $100 spent, just $1 in extra tax is paid. That's the price of a bottle of pop.

Also consider the fact that a 2007 economic impact study on tourism in Wyoming determined that, in Park County, tourist spending accounted for more than 26 percent of the total sales tax collected.

That's right — people who don't even live here are paying for more than one fourth of these projects. That's a pretty good deal for us.

People are already throwing out ideas as to what our communities' needs will be in the future, and grumblings about “no more taxes” already can be heard.

We live in a state with some of the lowest taxes in the nation — 1-percent sales taxes pay for large-scale projects in our towns, without overburdening county residents.

Capital facilities taxes give us a big bang for our buck. If a worthy project is presented, we'd be wise to consider another tax in 2010.