What is the Spet?
SPET stands for Specific Purpose Excise Tax. It’s the existing sixth penny of Teton County, WY 6% sales tax, which is used to fund voter-approved projects. Each project is voted on separately and no project is linked to or dependent on another project passing or failing. Projects aren’t competing; voters can vote for all projects that they support, and ALL can be approved and funded. The number of projects that pass determines how long the tax will be collected. The SPET tax collected each year is approximately $10 million. The Specific Purpose Excise Tax is paid by visitors and residents on all goods, other than food, purchased within the county. Visitors contribute 40-60% of SPET revenues. SPET allows local government to provide community services and facilities that would otherwise be funded through bonds or an increased mill levy on property taxes. The next SPET ballot will come to voters to choose the projects they want approved on Tuesday, August 17, 2010. SPET projects will NOT be on the November 2010 ballot.
How does the government use your 6 cents of sales tax?
• 1st-4th cents The state of Wyoming receives 69% of these funds; the remaining 31% is shared by the Town of Jackson and Teton County to support general government operations.
• 5th cent The Town of Jackson and Teton County share this funding to support general government operations.
• 6th cent Supports voter-approved “specific purpose” projects sponsored by the Town of Jackson or Teton County (SPET).
If I vote for SPET projects , would my taxes go up?
No, voting for the Sixth-Penny Tax would continue an existing tax that is already in place.
How much is the library addition going to cost and how long will it take to collect this amount?
The SPET tax collected each year is approximately $10 million. We are requesting $8.45 million for the library addition and renovation. So, collecting the SPET monies for the library project would be less than one year. However, the County Commissioners and County Treasurer determine the schedule for distributing funds to the voter-approved projects.
Has the library received SPET money before?
Yes, twice. Voters first approved SPET money for the initial construction of the main library in August, 1994 in the amount of $4,750,000. The second voter-approved SPET proposition was August, 2008 in the amount of $1,500,000 for the purpose of planning, designing, engineering, site preparation, and preliminary construction costs for an addition to the Teton County Library located at our current site at 125 Virginian Lane in the Town of Jackson.
How does a SPET proposition pass?
A proposition on the SPET ballot passes by a simple majority, that is, 50% +1 vote of all votes cast for the individual proposition. Each item is voted on separately and no project is linked to or dependent on another project passing or failing. Projects aren’t competing; voters can vote for all projects that they support, and ALL can be approved and funded.
What are the other propositions on the August 17, 2010 SPET ballot? Click here to see all 11 propositions
Percentage Allocations/Breakdown of SPET Tax project categories to date since inception in 1984:
Schools 28.03% - $42,256,000
Hospital 11.18% - $16,850,000
Town of Jackson 19.23% - $28,981,440
Housing Authority 9.49% - $14,300,000
Pathways 4.61% - $6,947,000
Joint Town/County 7.44% - $11,214,961
Teton County 11.37% - $17,145,000 (includes library)
Wilson Wastewater 4.61% - $6,950,000
Other** 4.04% - $6,100,000
**(Airport, Teton Village W&S, JH Historical Society)