Voters head to the polls today for the SPET election. The specific purpose excise tax is the sixth penny of sales tax that people already pay on goods and services. Here in Wyoming, taxpayers have the unique opportunity to choose where that sixth penny goes. There are 10 items on the ballot that answer some type of community need, or what people heading those initiatives believe are a need. Voters can choose to support all, some or none of the projects. Voting happens until 7 p.m. today at Teton County Library and the Old Wilson Schoolhouse. People can register at the polls and vote at either location regardless of where they live.
Johnny Ziem, assistant public works director for the Town of Jackson, described SPET voting as “a pretty amazing process.”
That’s because, Ziem said, it’s a process rooted in public engagement. Since SPET was introduced in the late 80s, it has provided a way to generate funding for capital projects that the public can either support or reject. “How cool is that?” Ziem said. “You can educate yourself on these projects and talk to people, talk to the sponsoring government agencies and get more information and really try and understand how it’s going to affect you and your community.”
Listen above for the full conversation.