News of Riverton, Lander and Fremont County, Wyoming, from the Ranger's award winning journalists.
Land values up, which means property taxes rising this year as well
Apr 22, 2014 - From staff reports
Farmers and ranchers can expect to see a bigger number on their notices of property value arriving in the mail this week from the Fremont County Assessor's Office.
The larger figure will mean higher property taxes.
The local agency uses agricultural land values determined by the Wyoming Department of Revenue, which in turn bases its calculations on the price of hay and capitalization rate from the Farm Credit Service.
"Each notice of value gives the taxpayer the market value of their property as well as their estimated taxes for the year," Fremont County Assessor Tara Berg said. "The actual taxes are set in August by the Fremont County Commission."
All property owners should receives their notices this week, if they haven't already. Berg advises them to read their notice carefully and call her office within 30 days from the date on the notice if they have any questions.
Every six years, the assessor's office evaluates all property in the county. If owners change any physical characteristics of their land or buildings, the agency takes those in to account.
Property taxes are based on market value in Wyoming. To find the market value, assessors look at a building's physical traits, such as age, construction type and size, and enter that information into a computer model, which produces a cost value. Then, assessors adjust that figure based on sales data.
Property in the Dunior Valley, Union Pass, Horse Creek and Dinwoody areas near Dubois, Riverview Road and Woodridge areas near Riverton, and North Fork, North Second Street and Indian Lookout Subdivision areas near Lander were inspected for the 2014 tax year, along with the towns of Shoshoni, Pavillion and Hudson. The assessor's office also evaluated all apartments, hotels and motels in the county.
Besides agricultural land, the assessor advised, some areas inspected this year will see an 4 percent to 6 percent increase based on the type of construction of homes, and sales data could drive up the value of other properties.
Across the county, the number of sales of residential property with structures on them rose 8 percent to 386 in 2013 compared to 2012. Sales of vacant lots rose 54 percent in the same time frame to 43, according to Berg.
Veterans and widows or widowers of veterans can renew their property tax exemptions for the year by calling 332-1188 or 1-800-967-2297 ahead of the May 4 deadline. Those wishing to enroll have to bring some paperwork to the assessor's office.