About Face: Driskill, Sommers Now May Call Special Session For Property Tax Bill

After saying Monday morning they wouldn't call for the Wyoming Legislature to reconvene for a special session, Senate President Ogden Driskill and House Speaker Albert Sommers say they're now considering it.

Leo Wolfson

March 26, 20244 min read

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The chances of the Wyoming Legislature convening a special session have drastically increased about 12 hours after legislative leaders said they wouldn’t call for one.

On Monday night, Senate President Ogden Driskill, R-Devils Tower, and House Speaker Albert Sommers, R-Pinedale, released a memo saying they are now considering calling for a special session to deal with a property tax relief bill Gov. Mark Gordon vetoed.

That’s a 180-degree turn from Monday morning when Driskill and Sommers released an op-ed saying one of the reasons they wouldn’t call for a special session was because they saw no way Senate File 54 could be implemented this year, so it might as well wait until the 2025 legislative session so no money would be wasted.

Last Thursday, Gordon vetoed SF 54, a bill that would have trimmed 25% off assessed home value up to $2 million.

Driskill and Sommers said they received new information Monday showing SF 54 could still be implemented for the current tax year.

If that can happen, there may be value in a special session, they said, adding they’ll send out more information about that "in the very near future."

Wyoming Senate President Ogden Driskill, R-Devils Tower, left, and House Speaker Albert Sommers, R-Pinedale.
Wyoming Senate President Ogden Driskill, R-Devils Tower, left, and House Speaker Albert Sommers, R-Pinedale. (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

What Changed?

All Wyoming county assessors must include notification of property tax exemptions on the 2024 assessment schedule, which must be mailed no later than April 22.

After examining the issue, the Wyoming Department of Revenue notified Sommers and Driskill on Monday that exemptions aren’t required in April and can wait until homeowners receive their actual tax bills in September.

“While not reflecting the property tax exemption in the April assessment schedule may lead to some confusion, we believe it is likely still worthwhile to consider a special legislative session to enact meaningful property tax relief this year,” Sommers and Driskill wrote in their memo.

Driskill and Sommers said they are actively talking to the governor about a special session and their next “appropriate course of action.”

The governor likely won’t be eager for legislators to meet again to potentially undo his veto. The main reason Gordon opposed SF 54 was because he felt it wasn’t properly funded and gave “socialistic” treatment to certain groups of people.

But Driskill and Sommers don’t have to rely on Gordon to call a special session. They can poll their members to see if they would like to engage a special session, and a simple majority vote in both chambers would initiate the process.

“As we stated last week, all Wyoming homeowners deserve property tax relief after double digit tax increases the past two years,” they wrote. “And we are committed to delivering that meaningful tax relief.”


Some members of the Legislature like Sen. Cheri Steinmetz, R-Lingle, and Rep. John Bear, R-Gillette, expressed outrage when Gordon vetoed SF 54, and Sommers and Driskill also expressed disappointment at the time.

Steinmetz told Cowboy State Daily earlier Monday that calling for a special session is about “finishing the work we started for the Wyoming people.”

“Situations like this are why our founders provided the ability for a special session in our constitution,” she said. “I believe Wyoming citizens expect us to do just that.”


The last special session for the Wyoming Legislature was in 2021 to deal with COVID-19 regulations. This session was called by former Senate President Dan Dockstader, R-Afton, and House Speaker Eric Barlow, R-Gillette, who got the necessary majority vote from their chambers.

Gordon also called a special session in May 2020 to help respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rep. Clarence Styvar, R-Cheyenne, also called for a special session later that year to deal with COVID regulations, but couldn’t get enough signatures of support.

Leo Wolfson can be reached at leo@cowboystatedaily.com.

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Leo Wolfson

Politics and Government Reporter