School bond and tax elections in Wyoming

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School bond and tax elections in Wyoming are held under three circumstances:
  • To establish a building fund for a district.
  • To issue new bonds.
  • Special school tax.

Laws affecting school finance

Building fund law

Under Wyoming law, any school district needs voter approval to establish a building or repayment fund. Districts upon voter approval can start a building fund of a certain amount that must be raised within a certain number of years. Districts can acquire land, erect, enlarge, and equip school buildings, teacherages, garages or other such buildings for school purposes as appropriate uses of the funds.[1]

Special school tax

Wyoming law allows for a special school tax for districts in Wyoming to maintain or create adult education programs. Wyoming law mandates that the special tax if approved by the voters can only exceed two and a half mills.[2]

Wyoming bond issue law

Wyoming law allows school districts to issue new bonds for

  • Acquiring or improving lands.
  • Acquiring or erecting buildings.
  • Enlarging, improving, remodeling, repairing or adding to buildings.
  • Equipping and furnishing buildings.
  • Repair and maintenance.
  • Any combination of the above.

When obtaining approval for bond issues, school districts are required to hold two public hearings with an explanation of why the district needs the bonds. No school district can issue voter-approved bonds that have less than three percent of the bond proceeds to be put towards a district's reserve fund.[3] Wyoming mandates that any school district cannot take more than ten percent of indebtedness of the total taxable property.[4]

All bond issues in the State of Wyoming must have a 25 year maturity date with the interest must be paid annually or semiannually.[5]

Conduct of bond election, rules, limitations

Authority conducting elections

The respective County Clerk is responsible for conducting school bond and tax elections in Wyoming.[6]

Election dates

Wyoming requires that all bond elections have to be held on the same day as a statewide primary or general election. Bond elections can also be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in May or November. Elections can also be held on the first Tuesday after the third Monday in August.[7]

Needed majority

A simple majority is required to pass any elections involving school finance in Wyoming.[8][9]

Special elections

Special elections can only be held the first Tuesday after the first Monday in May or November or on the first Tuesday after the third Monday in August.[10]

Wording of measures

All ballot questions in Wyoming involving bonds or building funds must end "Building Fund, Yes" and "Building Fund No" or "levy against the property of the district to pay off existing refunding bonds, yes" and "levy against the property of the district to pay off existing refunding bonds, no."[11] All ballot measures must be in a clear and concise format.

For special school tax elections, all elections must be formatted as: "Shall an additional special tax of not to exceed .... mills be levied for the purpose of maintaining a program of adult education?"

  • Special levy-YES
  • Special levy-NO.[12]

Required notice of bond election

All elections requiring a bond issue must have 35 to 45 days public notice.[13]

See also

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References

  1. "Wyoming Legislature" Wyoming School Bond Law(Referenced Statute 21-13-501(a))
  2. "Wyoming Legislature" Wyoming School Bond Law(Referenced Statute 21-12-103)
  3. "Wyoming Legislature" Wyoming School Bond Law(Referenced Statute 21-13-701)
  4. "Wyoming Legislature" Wyoming School Bond Law(Referenced Statute 21-13-703)
  5. "Wyoming Legislature" Wyoming School Bond Law(Referenced Statute 21-13-708)
  6. "Wyoming Legislature" Wyoming School Bond Law(Referenced Statute 22-2-103)
  7. "Wyoming Legislature" Wyoming Election Law(Referenced Statute 22-2-104(d))
  8. "Wyoming Legislature" Wyoming School Bond Law(Referenced Statute 21-13-502)
  9. "Wyoming Legislature" Wyoming School Bond Law(Referenced Statute 21-12-104(b))
  10. "Wyoming Legislature" Wyoming Election Law(Referenced Statute 22-2-104(d))
  11. "Wyoming Legislature" Wyoming School Bond Law(Referenced Statute 21-13-502(a))
  12. "Wyoming Legislature" Wyoming School Bond Law(Referenced Statute 21-12-104(a))
  13. "Wyoming Legislature" Wyoming Election Law(Referenced Statute 22-2-109(b))