Shoshoni, Lander contesting property tax charges for medical clinic, community center

At the very least two nearby towns are questioning the validity of the home taxes Fremont County imposed on them this 12 months.

Fremont County Assessor Tara Berg charged a $2,700 tax for Shoshoni’s clinical clinic and a $10,000 tax for the Lander Neighborhood Center, in accordance to general public conferences held this 7 days.

She stated both equally services are made use of to complete expert services that are outside the house of the government’s purview, in immediate levels of competition with private enterprise, so they are not qualified for a governmental tax exemption.

Governmental goal

Govt home is exempt from taxation as long as it is “used primarily for a governmental function,” in accordance to the Wyoming Constitution.

“Governmental purpose” is not explicitly outlined – and some argue it shouldn’t be – but state home tax policies do say that “if a support is rendered gratuitously, supported by taxes, and for the general public welfare or satisfaction frequently, the property associated with giving this sort of company is exempt” from taxation.

Based mostly on that language, Shoshoni should really not have to shell out taxes on its medical clinic, city clerk Chris Konija advised the Wyoming Legislature’s Joint Profits Committee in the course of a meeting this week in Lander.

The clinic only exists due to the fact the city crafted it, obtained equipment for it, and found a company supplier keen to occupy the area, Konija pointed out.

“It is not worthwhile, and it is not self-sustaining,” he claimed. “(We) subsidize, in essence, that assistance.”

A identical circumstance exists in Lander: Metropolis treasurer Charri Lara explained the area local community center has not turned a gain for the duration of her complete 16-year tenure.

In truth, she stated, in the 1st calendar year after the new community middle was created, the procedure misplaced $97,000.

The town also loses dollars on its golfing system, which was taxed this yr as nicely, Lara explained.


Both of those municipalities prepare to embark on the convoluted and expensive property tax enchantment process, which is primarily burdensome for little cities like Shoshoni.

Shoshoni Mayor Joel Highsmith explained the assessor’s business office need to have to consider on that load as a substitute.

“If the taxing authority feels that we do not satisfy that (exemption) need … they ought to be the a single captivating, not us,” Highsmith claimed.

Legislative fix?

For its section, the Joint Earnings Committee mentioned it would look at resurrecting a 2020 bill that would much more clearly define the phrase “governmental goal.”

The legislation failed introduction in the Wyoming Senate that year.

In its existing sort, the monthly bill says a property with a “governmental purpose” is employed for “health, security and welfare.”

The definition involves “community event centers” and “state, town or county wellbeing departments” – but not “medical clinics operated by a personal entity,” like the one particular in Shoshoni.

The JRC’s upcoming assembly is scheduled to just take area in September in Casper.