Laramie County Voters To Decide Fate Of 5th Penny Tax
Laramie County voters will decide whether to renew the local 5th penny sales tax on election day in November.
Cheyenne Public Works Director Vicki Nemecek said recently the primary purpose of the tax is to pay for street and road maintenance projects, including such things as the plowing of streets during winter storms and chip sealing projects, among many other projects.
The money also is used for traffic signs and lights and drainage projects. Nemecek said three projects are also being targeted if voters approve the renewal of the tax on election day. They include widening East Dell Range between College Drive and Whitney Road, a bridge replacement and widening project on 5th Street over Crow Creek, and a realignment project for Missile Drive, including a new bridge over Crow Creek.
Besides street projects, money raised by the tax will go to the Cheyenne Police Department, Cheyenne Fire Rescue, the Cheyenne Animal Shelter, Cheyenne-Laramie Public Health and several local charities. The tax was first collected locally in 1978.
Nemecek said the tax will raise roughly $66 million, with the city getting roughly $42 million of that. He also said if the voters were to reject the tax, the city would be limited to making only emergency road and street repairs, with very little maintenance and no new street projects.
The 5th penny tax is not to be confused with the optional 6th penny specific purpose tax, which offers voters the option of imposing a sales tax to pay for various local projects such as a recreation center, improvements to the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens, upgrades to local fire stations and a variety of other proposed projects.
The 5th penny tax continues to be collected throughout the four year period covered by the election, while the 6th penny tax expires after the money needed for the specific projects approved by voters is raised.
The third and final informational meeting on the 5th penny sales tax in Cheyenne, is scheduled for Tuesday night at 5:30 p.m. at the Cheyenne Fire and Rescue Training Complex at 7222 Commerce Circle.