CASPER, Wyo. — The Casper City Council voted 8–0 on Tuesday in favor of continuing to ask Natrona County to collect eight mills of property tax on behalf of the City of Casper.
The city is anticipating revenues from the mill levy will increase to around $5.37 million during fiscal year 2023, up from about $4.4 million during the current FY 2022, according to a memo from city staff. The revenues come from the eight mills being levied on taxable property within city limits.
A mill is the number of dollars a taxpayer must pay for every $1,000 of assessed value on real property. The number of mills local governments can impose is determined by the state.
The City of Casper has levied the maximum of eight mills and Natrona County has levied the maximum of 12 mills for at least 20 years, according to Casper City Manager Carter Napier and Natrona County Commission Chair Paul Bertoglio.
With many property owners in Natrona County seeing their property valuations increase, Natrona County Assessor Matt Keating suggested in May that the city and county reduce the burden on taxpayers by choosing to levy less mills. In defense of property valuations under his office, Keating has said his hands are tied by state law. In addition to suggesting that the city and county choose to levy less mills, he has also said some adjustments to state law could help.
The city and county are not the only entities that levy mills on property owners in the community. In the Casper tax district, 72.89 total mills are levied. The Natrona County School District gets 32.5 mills. There’s 7.39 for Casper College. Weed and Pest gets one. Commercial property owners in the Downtown Development Area vote to impose an additional 16 mills on themselves to help fund the Downtown Development Authority.
If the county or city were to give up a mill each, the final bill for a property assessed at $300,000 would drop from $2,052 to $1,995, according to the state formula.
Local governments that choose not to levy the full mills can become ineligible for some grants from the State Loan and Investment Board, Bertoglio said in May after Keating’s suggestion that the city and county could reduce the number of mills they levy.
Napier said the city simply needs the revenues from levying the full eight mills.
“We absolutely need the money,” Napier said in May. “We’ve got employees that need raises, we’ve got fuels going through the roof.”
Councilmember Bruce Knell was not in attendance when the City Council voted Tuesday in favor of a resolution to continue levying the full eight mills during fiscal year 2023. The resolution and staff memo explaining it can be viewed below: