City Council: Quarter Percent Tax Moves Forward for Public Vote

(Gillette, Wyo.) The Gillette City Council Tuesday narrowly passed a resolution to put a quarter-percent sales tax on the ballot in a special election to be held in November.

The decision followed a discussion from supporters and those who oppose the new tax. Among the supporters were county commissioners Rusty Bell, Mark Christensen, and Mickey Shober.

“The community is ready for this vote,” said Bell.

Phil Christopherson, CEO Energy Capital Economic Development, urged the council to be decisive, as it was with the 1-percent option tax.

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“It took guts to stand up and invest in themselves,” he said.

However, Gillette resident Vicki Kissack questioned if the public fully understood the implications of the tax. She also raised concerns about whether or not all the town’s voters would be accurately represented in the count since employers would not need to give employees time off to go vote.

City Councilors Kevin McGrath, Dan Barks, and Robin Kuntz raised concerns that the distribution of the tax had not been clearly outlined prior to the resolution to place the question on the ballot. They requested a memorandum of understanding be drawn up detailing how the tax revenue would be divided between county entities.

In the end the resolution passed with Mayor Louise Carter-King, Shay Lundvall, Tim Carsrud and Billy Montgomery voting in favor of the measure.

Originally from New Mexico, Killough began his career writing freelance for a weekly magazine in Albuquerque while completing his undergraduate degree. In addition to reporting on uranium mining in western New Mexico, he spent three years reporting in western North Dakota during the height of the oil boom. He can be reached at kevin@county17.com or 701-641-6603.