CORRECTION: The original version of this story and headline said Amendment A had passed, which is incorrect. Though more were in favor of the proposal than against it, the amendment did not receive the majority of votes due to nearly 31,000 voters leaving the question blank. The mistake was due to a miscalculation. The Wyoming Tribune Eagle apologizes for the error.
CHEYENNE – Along with the various local races decided by the election Tuesday, Wyoming voters also turned down a constitutional amendment that would have removed the existing debt limit that municipalities can incur on sewer projects, instead allowing the state Legislature to determine a new limit.
Constitutional Amendment A, which had the support of the Wyoming Association of Municipalities, would have given slightly more flexibility to local governments when deciding how to finance wastewater projects.
As currently written in the Wyoming Constitution, municipalities can incur debt of up to 4% of the assessed value of local taxable property, with the option to add an additional 4% of indebtedness specifically for sewage projects.
In an effort to address the increasing cost of such projects, the defeated amendment would have gotten rid of the 4% limit for sewer projects and instead allowed the Legislature to determine the additional indebtedness that a municipality may incur.
In the election Tuesday night, the proposed amendment got more support than opposition, with 126,486 in favor and 120,743 against it. But a constitutional amendment must be approved by a majority of voters, and nearly 31,000 voters left their ballots unfilled on the matter.
With those votes included, the amendment fell short of the majority it needed, failing with 45.4% of voters in favor of it.
Locally, voters again decided to support the Laramie County Conservation District through the renewal of its property tax mill levy.
Funded by the revenue from the tax, the district’s staff has contributed to hundreds of projects across the county designed to protect the area’s natural resources and educate the public on their value.
The conservation tax, expected to cost residents about $12 annually, has consistently won approval from Laramie County voters, with more than 60% approving it in 2012 and 2016.
This year, voters approved it again by similar margins, with about 65% of Laramie County voters in support of the measure, 28,043 in favor to 15,101 against.