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The Supreme Court throws out a Trump-era ban on gun bump stocks; a look at how social media algorithms and Shakespearian villains have in common; and states receive federal funding to clean up legacy mine pollution.

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The Supreme Court for now protects access to abortion drug mifepristone, while Senate Republicans block a bill protecting access to in-vitro fertilization. Wisconsin's Supreme Court bans mobile voting sites, and colleges deal with funding cuts as legislatures target diversity programs.

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As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

WY governor to talk property tax shifts at 'TeleTown Hall'

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Wednesday, May 22, 2024   

Gov. Mark Gordon will address Wyomingites this week to detail new avenues for property tax relief.

Following the pandemic, property values in Wyoming increased and so did property taxes, which jumped nearly 50% between 2019 and 2023, according to the Wyoming Department of Revenue. Lawmakers passed several bills during the recent session to act as pressure relief valves for property owners, offering a variety of tax breaks over the next few years.

The mix of beneficiaries, application requirements and timelines is complex, so Gordon and Department of Revenue director Brenda Henson will speak directly to taxpayers via a TeleTown Hall on Friday.

Tom Lacock, associate state director for state advocacy and communications with AARP Wyoming, which is hosting the event, said the changes have been years in the making.

"The property tax conversation has been going for the last three years. We've seen a number of bills, last year, double-digit bills, to try to provide that property tax relief," he said.

The state has been hogtied by a 1988 rule in the Wyoming Constitution that says all forms of property must be taxed equally, including commercial, industrial and residential. Voters could change that model this November via a ballot question that, if passed, would make a separate class for residential properties.

Starting in 2025, Wyomingites age 65 and older will see their property taxes cut by half, and exemptions for veterans will double. This year, a 4% cap will be applied to year-over-year increases. And House Bill 4 increased the amount of income you can make and still qualify for the state's refund program, which Lacock said is the only one with an impending deadline.

"The property tax refund program has a deadline of the first Monday in June. So, you can apply either on the Wyoming Department of Revenue's website, or through your local county treasurer's office," he continued.

The TeleTown Hall will be held Friday, May 24 at 3 p.m. Event information is available at aarp.org/wy.

Disclosure: AARP Wyoming contributes to our fund for reporting on Civic Engagement, Consumer Issues, Health Issues, Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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