CASPER, Wyo. — The board of County Commissioners presented a list of tax levies for Natrona County for this fiscal year at their regular meeting Tuesday.
This year’s tax levy information contained the mill rates for entities receiving funding, in light of recent public feedback about the rise of property taxes. A mill is the number of dollars a taxpayer must pay for every $1,000 of assessed value on real property, and the county’s public operations can take a certain number of mills depending on factors such as the given authority’s size and level of importance.
While entities choose the number of mills they take up to a posted maximum, the county does not set or control property taxes themselves. Assessed values of agricultural, personal and commercial properties are up about 15% this year, county assessor Matt Keating previously told Oil City, which caused property taxes to rise.
All entities asked for the maximum number of mills possible this year, county attorney Eric Nelson confirmed during the work session Tuesday.
Natrona County has been a “seller’s market” the past several years, Keating and others agree, with many buyers coming from out of state. Seeking a different tax or political climate, retirement or an escape, it’s not uncommon for these people to purchase properties sight-unseen. They may come in with cash offers and get into bidding wars with other prospective buyers, setting a higher precedent for property value.
The greatest number of mills will be designated to Natrona County School #1, which will receive 44.5 mills, equivalent to $64,359,204. According to documents in the agenda, 31 of these mills will go to the district’s general fund. The district will levy another 12 mills for the Wyoming School Foundation Fund, 0.5 mills for the Natrona County BOCES and one mill for the Natrona County Recreation Joint Powers Board. Taxes from these levies go directly to the organizations that operate them: the State of Wyoming, BOCES and the Recreation Joint Powers Board, respectively.
On Nov. 2, 2021, property owners within the Downtown Development Authority passed a four-year, 16-mill levy on the assessed valuation of real property within the DDA district. In other words, the district voted to tax itself more to raise money for support of David Street Station and other endeavors. This excludes real property used exclusively for residential purchases. The levy will begin in the 2022 tax year and continue through 2025.
The resolution to set tax levies passed with no commissioner comment on Tuesday.