Candidates' positions on the optional county-wide sales tax dominated questions at Wednesday night's political forum at Sheridan College.
People running for Sheridan County and municipal offices were center-stage at the event sponsored by the Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce.
Candidates running for county commissioner were asked why Sheridan County has a six percent optional sales tax, when Cody's tax is only four percent. Dennis Fox, the only non-incumbent running for one of the three available seats, said he would prefer a lower sales tax that would allow county residents to keep more money in their own pockets.
Incumbents Terry Cram, Bob Rolston and Steve Maier said the sales tax allows the county to fund nonprofit and not-for-profit organizations that the county otherwise could not support. These include the Sheridan Senior Center. Rolston also said that 40 to 50 percent of the sales tax is paid not by residents but by tourists when they visit the area.
Nearly 75 people attended the forum. In addition to the commission, candidates for other offices included Scott Hininger and incumbent Peter Carroll, both running for county treasurer, three candidates for the two-year unexpired term on Sheridan's city council, three candidates for the three four-year terms on the city council, and two of the three candidates for Dayton mayor. Norm Anderson was unable to attend.
All five candidates for the Dayton council were present. Two seats are up for election. Also at the event was Peter Clark, who is running unopposed for mayor of Ranchester. P.J. Kane, running unopposed for county coroner, also was unable to attend the forum, but he sent a letter that was read by forum moderator Richard Garber.