AP News Update

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AP News Update

Latest Wyoming news, sports, business and entertainment

WYOMING TAXES

Wyoming had lowest state-local tax burden in 2011

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - A tax policy research group says Wyoming residents enjoyed the lowest state and local tax burden in the country in 2011.

The report released by the Tax Foundation shows that taxpayers in Wyoming paid 6.9 percent of their collective incomes in state and local taxes in 2011.

Wyoming overtook Alaska, which had been the least-taxed for multiple decades.

The national average for state tax burden for 2011 was 9.8 percent.

After Wyoming and Alaska, the next lowest-taxed states were South Dakota, Texas, and Louisiana.

The report says residents of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut had the highest state-local tax burdens as a share of income at nearly 12 percent.

SALES TAX SURVEY

Communities want 1 percent sales tax survey

GILLETTE, Wyo. (AP) - Communities in northeast Wyoming want a survey to find out how citizens want Gillette, Wright and Campbell County to spend Optional 1 Percent Sales Tax money.

Campbell County voters have approved the tax every four years since the 1970s. It adds a 1 percent sales tax on top of the state's sales tax, and can be used to pay for various capital projects in the county and cities.

According to the Gillette News Record, surveyors sometimes send surveys only to registered voters, but that is usually limited to questions related to a campaign or ballot initiative.

CHEYENNE FORGERY CASE

Woman faces charges in Cheyenne forgery case

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Cheyenne police have arrested a woman after she was accused of spending more than $2,000 using stolen checks and credit cards.

Authorities say Tisha Reese turned herself in to Cheyenne police after a warrant was issued for her arrest.

Reese is accused of making 14 purchases between Dec. 4 and Jan. 24, plus one attempted purchase of gift cards that was declined. Those purchases included massages, eyelash extensions, a manicure and pedicure, a new iPhone 5 and a case of Bud Light beer.

There was no indication Reese had an attorney.

CATHOLIC COLLEGE-HEALTH CARE

Wyoming Catholic College opposes mandate

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) - Wyoming Catholic College is temporarily exempt from providing contraceptive coverage in its employee health plans while it fights the mandate in court.

The Lander college's health insurance provider, Christian Brothers Services, is the same carrier that insures a group of Colorado nuns challenging the free birth control mandate in a federal appeals court in Denver.

The nuns were granted temporary relief from complying with the mandate in December and again in February by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Officials say because the health insurance provider in question is the same, the nuns' exemption applies to the Wyoming college.

Wyoming Catholic College spokesman Jonathon Tonkowich tells the Casper Star-Tribune that as long as the nuns' case is unresolved, the Wyoming college cannot face fines for not complying with the mandate.

GOP CENSURE-MEAD

Hot Springs GOP also censures Mead over Hill

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) - Republicans in Platte County aren't the only ones unhappy with Gov. Matt Mead.

The Hot Springs County Republican Party also voted to censure Mead for supporting the effort to strip power from the office of schools Superintendent Cindy Hill. Party chairman Charles Curley said he didn't have the tally of Saturday's vote.

Delegates to the Platte County GOP convention voted 36-1 to pass a censure resolution against the Republican governor on Saturday, also citing the Hill measure.

Three other county parties considered censure proposals or measures critical of how the Hill situation was handled in the last month - Lincoln, Uinta and Natrona.

Mead spokesman Renny MacKay says the governor respects the free speech rights of all county parties.

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