ShelterJH Candidate Questionnaire: State Legislature
*Local candidates Representative Jim Roscoe (HD 22 incumbent and candidate), Representative Andy Schwartz (HD 23 incumbent and candidate) and Senator Dan Dockstader (SD 16 incumbent and candidate) did submit responses to ShelterJH’s questionnaire.
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Wyoming faces major funding deficits due to dependency on falling energy and mineral revenues, and due to economic stress from COVID. At the same time, local communities including ours need additional funding to build homes that community members can afford. How do you propose addressing state revenue generally and housing funding specifically?
- Bill Winney (candidate for HD 22): Given the revenue environment, I see this as way down the list the Appropriations Committee will approve. I consider this a very valuable thing to do. What needs to be done is some form of government housing to be rented out, similar to military base housing. Fitting that into the current budget will be a long reach. It is is possible I will support it but will have to see the bill as it’s submitted.
- Mike Yin (HD 16 incumbent and candidate): Ultimately while we can make cuts, they won’t fix the fundamental problem, which is that we are subsidized by mineral revenues. Ultimately, we need a new tax structure. The fairest way would be an income tax. Ultimately, it will be a discussion with the other legislators on what can move forward. With regards to housing funding, I had a bill that would create local mechanisms for affordable housing funding with contributions from those that drive home prices up significantly, second homeowners. This would be an additional lever to help manage what is essentially infinite demand for a worldwide market interested in our land. I will continue to work on this bill and on creative solutions to help with our local planning.
What bills do you foresee helping our ability to provide homes for local workers in the next session? What will you do about them?
- Bill Winney (candidate for HD 22): There are few bills filed as of today. Perhaps such housing could be fit into a bill or a specific bill prepared.
- Mike Yin (HD 16 incumbent and candidate): My second homeowner fee again. Possibly a real estate transfer tax. Other mechanisms for local funding solutions. I will both propose and fight for them.
What bills do you foresee harming our ability to provide homes for local workers in the next session? What will you do about them?
- Bill Winney (candidate for HD 22): My sense of the budget environment is that this will be a real stretch to get beyond a committee level bill. However, this is worthy and can be considered in future years as Wyoming’s revenue situation imporves. However, in order to pass this cannot be seen as a handout of some kind, it must be structured as a viable capital program.
- Mike Yin (HD 16 incumbent and candidate): Ones that strip local control from being able to make the best decisions for our community.