Property Tax Assessments coming out Wednesday; Ag land, property in Shoshoni & Hudson likely to see increases, among others

Fremont County Assessor Tara Berg

(Lander) — The Fremont County Assessor’s Office will put 2012 property tax assessments in the mail this coming Wednesday, April 11th, according to County Assessor Tara Berg. The “Notice of Values” contains a market value for a property and estimated taxes that will be due in 2012.

Berg said Agricultural land values will go up this year, primarily because of the price of hay. “The Wyoming Department of Revenue uses hay prices and the interest rate to calculate the productive value of the land,” she said. “And this year hay was going up to $200 a ton in shipments made to Texas, and that did not include transportation costs.”

Berg said the Shoshoni and Hudson areas would most likely see increased property values based on sales data from those communities, and she said some reappraisals of property would result in change of values, especially in the Jeffrey City, Fort Washakie and Arapahoe areas, as well as some neighborhoods within Lander and Riverton. “Wyoming Department of Revenue rules requires properties to be physically inspected by our office once every six years. If there have been any physical characteristic changes to a property since our last inspection, our records will be updated to include those.” She said those “physical characteristics” would include new construction, additions onto homes, new outbuildings and such and, conversely, demolition of structures.

Other factors that could change a property’s valuation include the type of construction. In the news release, Berg said the State uses a national known costing system called “Marshall and Swift” which conducts nationwide studies regarding the cost of construction. “Some homes may see an increased based on their construction,” she said.

“The actual property taxes will be set in August by the county commissioners,” Berg said. “But I urge every taxpayer to read the notice they receive very carefully as to any questions they may have about the values indicated there.” Berg stressed that property tax owners only have a 30 day window, from the date on the notice,  to appeal the values indicated on the “Notice of Values.”

In the news release, Berg said property taxes are based on market value. “To calculate the market value, appraisers from the assessor’s office gather physical characteristics such as the year built, construction type, square footage and/or size of the property,” she said. “Those characteristics are entered into a Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal System and a replacement cost new, less depreciated value, is calculated. This cost value is then compared to sale prices. Once that comparison is done, all properties in an area are adjusted to market value, based on those sales. The current year valuation is based on sales information from the previous year.”

Berg also said she wanted to remind veterans, or widows or widowers of veterans, that it is now time to renew their tax exemption for the current tax year. “An honorably discharged veteran who served during a specified period of active conflict and who has been a Wyoming resident for the last three (3) years may qualify,” she said. Any veteran who is not registered for the program should bring their discharge papers (DD214 form) to the Assessor’s Office for review to determine if they meet the eligibility requirements. Any eligible veteran who is already registered in the office can call 332-1188 or 1-800-967-2297 to renew their exemption. The deadline is the 4th Monday in May.