County Commissioners talk Sixth Penny Projects before starting public outreach

Local entities submit Sixth Penny Projects to County Commissioners for review
Local entities submit Sixth Penny Projects to County Commissioners for review(Mia Johnson)
Updated: May. 19, 2021 at 7:12 PM CDT
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - Every few years, the city, county and surrounding municipalities get the opportunity to request funding for projects. County Commissioners, the City and localized officials work to determine what projects are made a priority.

The Sixth Penny Projects are taxpayer funded programs that only occur approximately every five years. The County Commissioners work to set the dollar amount, which is usually around $130 million; a little over five years’ worth of collections.

“The sixth penny we do under the SPOT tax, which is specific purpose option tax, which is in state statute. So those are to do the specific projects rather than general operation of government,” said County Commissioner, Brian Lovett.

The county, city and surrounding municipalities are each allotted a spot on the ballot for a project proposal. Local entities, like the Laramie County Sheriff’s Department, Laramie County Community College and Laramie County Fire Districts, and many others have submitted projects proposals to the County Commissioners for review.

“Down at the commissioner level, we look at needs. We focused very heavily this time on human health and safety and infrastructure. Looking at our budget issues both within the state and local government, we are starting to feel a pinch, and so we are focusing on needs rather than wants,” said Lovett.

The people vote on the ballots in November, but the narrowed-down list of final projects will be released soon. Commissioner Lovett said it is important that once the final projects are selected, citizens need to be aware of what those projects are.

“They’re the ones that have to support it. It doesn’t go anywhere if the voters don’t approve of it. And that’s one of the great things about this program, it’s really the community deciding these are things they are wanting to pay for,” said Lovett.

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