A special election is taking place Nov. 2, where we will see the Specific Purpose Tax on our ballot. Though a Specific Purpose Tax has never been used in Natrona County, I strongly encourage all residents to be informed on what this tax is and how it works.
A Specific Purpose Tax is a way for the county to provide funding for projects that are specific and important to both rural and urban communities by placing a temporary sixth cent on sales tax. What stands out to me is that this proposed tax would only be in place for three months (April 1, 2022-June 30, 2022) and will provide vital infrastructure to our communities. That is also the time of year when many visitors come to Casper for High School State Championships, the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR), and other activities around our community, which means visitor spending will offset the cost. In 2020, visitors paid close to 10% of our one cent collections. It would be about the same for the 6th penny as well.
The Specific Purpose Tax will generate $4.3 million for two distinct projects in Natrona County. The Salt Creek Waterline project is vital for the future livability of Midwest and Edgerton. Currently, the waterline has frequent failures that jeopardize emergency services and these Town’s access to clean, potable drinking water. While temporary patches can be made, they are not a long-term solution. The Specific Purpose Tax will ensure these communities have access to a clean and consistent water source for years to come.
The Midwest Avenue project in Downtown Casper is the other project that would be completed with the funding from the Specific Purpose Tax. As you know, Midwest Avenue has been in disrepair for years. The completion of this project will provide smooth, inviting access to downtown Casper, especially from Poplar Street. As a result, this project may serve as a catalyst to cleanup and further renovation in the area.
As county commissioner, I urge my fellow citizens of Natrona County to learn more about the specific purpose tax at https://natronacountyspt.com/.
BROOK KAUFMAN, Casper