6th penny passes easily

Despite a low voter turnout for special election, Specific Use Tax passes with 75 percent of vote


Mike Armstrong

The lines were not long in Hanna Town Hall as volunteers wait for voters on May 7. From left, the volunteers are: Eva West, Dorla Baker, San Koenke and Valerie Black.

Unofficial results from the May 7 special election on the One Percent Specific Purpose Sales and Use Tax (6th penny tax) showed an overwhelming support for the tax at the polls when they were initially released at 8 p.m. Out of 1,634 ballots cast, 1,236 of them were in favor of the 6th penny tax and put the approval at 75 percent. Only 398, or 24 percent of ballots cast, were against the tax.

When official results were released by Gwynn Bartlett, Carbon County Clerk, the following day, those numbers held up.

"There were no changes to the unofficial results and there were no provisional ballots to consider," wrote Bartlett in an email bearing the official results.

Nearly every district in the county passed the measure with a majority vote. The only exceptions were Muddy Gap, where only two ballots were cast and they split the vote, and Leo, where out of the three ballots cast only one was in favor.

While the 6th penny tax passed with 75 percent of the vote, the turnout of registered voters left something to be desired. With 5,653 registered voters in Carbon County, the 1,637 votes cast put the turnout at approximately 28 percent. Far lower than any turnout for midterm or presidential elections.

"Turnout was low at only 28.96 percent, however special elections in this county typically are low," Bartlett wrote.

With the One Percent Sales and Use Tax (5th penny tax) having already passed during the general election, the passage of the 6th penny tax will increase sales tax in Carbon County from 5 percent to 6 percent. Following notification to the Wyoming Department of Revenue, it is believed that the tax will begin taking effect on Oct. 1, 2019.


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