PROTESTING A LOCAL PROPERTY TAX ASSESSMENT
As a taxpayer, if you disagree with any action the assessor has taken involving your property, you have the right to protest to the county board of equalization. For more information see Wyoming Statute 39-13-109
Should you appeal the decision of the county board of equalization to the State Board of Equalization? Your protest will be decided by the county board in a written decision by the first Monday in August. If you are dissatisfied with the county board findings you have the right to appeal to the State Board of Equalization. If you decide to appeal you must file a written notice of appeal within 30 days from entry of the county board decision with:
State Board of Equalization
P. 0. Box 448
Cheyenne, WY 82003
The notice should briefly state the decision appealed from, the grounds upon which the appeal is based, the relief desired, and your address. Procedural rules governing the appeal may be obtained from the State Board. One important rule deserves mention as it limits the type of information which may be considered by the Board. In most appeals, the State Board will only consider the evidence presented to the county board, thus additional evidence cannot be presented to the State Board. This rule emphasizes the importance of presenting your best case to the county!
Should you appeal to district court? The State Board will mail you a written decision and order which can not be reconsidered by the Board. If you are dissatisfied with the order, you have the right to appeal to the district court in your county. You should consult an attorney with regard to your appeal, and for advice on complying with the procedural rules applicable to such appeals.
Taxpayer, county assessor, or county commissioners (any person adversely affected) appeals by notifying the State Board of Equalization within thirty days from the date of entry of the final decision of county board or Department of Revenue.
State Board of Equalization dockets the appeal and requests a record of the appeal from the county board. You must arrange for and pay the cost to obtain a transcript of the hearing from the court reporter for filing with the State Board of Equalization.
State Board of Equalization reviews the record, and may set a hearing for oral argument in the case of appeals from county decisions if requested. In the case of an appeal from Department of Revenue decisions, the Board sets a prehearing conference or requests a preliminary statement from the parties.
State Board of Equalization sets appeals from Department of Revenue decisions for hearing, or expedited docket.
State Board of Equalization maintains a record of the proceedings and manages the discovery process for appeals from the Department of Revenue.
State Board of Equalization enters a written decision and order containing findings of fact and conclusions of law based on the evidence of record
State Board of Equalization publishes all decisions in a quarterly summary called the Equalization Quarterly Review and full decisions are published on this web site.
Any party aggrieved or adversely affected by a final decision of the Board may appeal to the appropriate district court
January 1: All taxable property is listed, valued and assessed for taxation.
February 15: Exemption applications to be filed for pollution and fire control equipment.
March 1: Second installment of prior year property tax due (delinquent after May 10).
March 1: Taxpayers must file a listing of taxable personal property with office of county assessor.
4th Monday in May: Qualified veterans (or surviving spouse) shall file for property tax exemption.
May 1: Taxpayers are notified of amount of pollution and fire control exemption approved by assessor.
2nd Monday in May: Filing affidavit to qualify for property tax refund with the county assessor.
4th Monday in April: Assessment schedules are mailed to taxpayers. Written objections must be filed with assessor within 30 days.
3rd Tuesday in June: Budget hearings for cities and towns. Budgets are set for the next fiscal year.
June 1: County abstract is submitted to the State Board of Equalization for review and possible change.
3rd Monday in July: County budget hearing. Budgets are set for that fiscal year.
3rd Wednesday in July: Budget hearings for schools and community colleges. Budgets are set for that fiscal year.
3rd Thursday in July: Budget hearings for special districts. Budgets are set for that fiscal year.
July 31: All governmental entities and special districts inform county commissioners of the amount of tax to be collected.
August 1: State Auditor certifies amount of State appropriations and the interest on public debt, for which a levy must be made.
1st Monday in August: County board of equalization decides all current year protests by written decision.
1st Monday in August: State Board notifies county board of equalization of the amount of state levy, and any change in valuation due to state equalization or correction of value.
1st Monday in August: County commissioners levy the necessary taxes for the year.
August 10: County assessor certifies to State Board all valuations and levies fixed in their respective counties.
August 10: County assessor files with Department of Revenue annual summary of deferred taxes.
3rd Monday in August: County assessor computes taxes and delivers assessment roll to county treasurer for collection.
August 31: County Treasurer issues refund to those who qualify for property tax relief.
September 1: County assessor certifies to Dept. of Revenue the amount of veterans exemption.
September 1: First installment of current year property tax is due (delinquent after Nov 10 unless all taxes are paid by Dec 31).
October 1: State Treasurer reimburses county treasurers for revenue lost due to veteran exemptions.
October 10: County treasurer sends tax bills, including property description, assessed value and mill levies, to each taxpayer at last known address.
November 10: Applications for deferral of ad valorem tax due to the county commissioners.
Wyoming is a "fractional assessment" State. This means our property tax applies to only a fraction of the full market value of property. This fraction is the property's assessed value. For most* property, only 9.5 % of market value is subject to tax. Consequently, a home worth $100,000 on the market is only taxed on $9,500 in assessed value. The real effect of fractional assessments is to exempt $90,500 of the home's value from taxation.
Citizens are legally protected from counties & municipalities increasing property tax rates. For county Revenue, the property tax rate cannot exceed 12 mills (or 1.2%) of assessed value. For cities and towns, the rate is limited to 8 mills (.8%). With very few exceptions, State law limits the property tax rate for all governmental purposes.
All Wyoming citizens benefit from property tax exemptions. Personal property held for personal use is tax exempt. Inventory, pollution control equipment, cash, accounts receivable, stocks, and bonds are also exempt.
Other exemptions include property used for religious, educational, charitable, fraternal, benevolent, and government purposes, among others. Improvements for handicapped access are also exempt.
Minerals are exempt from property tax, but must pay a gross products tax and a severance tax when produced. Underground mining equipment is tax exempt.
Wyoming also offers an array of partial exemptions and tax relief programs to benefit certain taxpayers.
Agricultural property receives a tax reduction if the productive value of the land is less than its market value. Livestock is also exempt from property taxes (other state fees apply).
The veteran's exemption may apply to annually exempt $2,000 in assessed value of property owned by qualified veterans. The exemption is available to Wyoming residents who are honorably discharged veterans of certain military conflicts. The exemption is also available to a qualified veteran's surviving spouse. Except for qualified surviving spouses and disabled veterans, the exemption is limited to $800 in total tax benefits. Applications must be filed with the county assessor by the fourth Monday in May (otherwise the exemption may only be taken against motor vehicle registration fees).
Wyoming's home owner's tax credit is available only when funded by the legislature. If the program is funded, it provides property tax relief for home owners on their principal residence. Homes valued below $41,052 (full value) receive the highest tax credit. Owners of homes worth over $61,579 receive no tax credit.
The property tax deferral program is available to elderly, disabled, and low income home owners, or if home was purchased prior to December 31, 1987, and if the program is adopted by the county commissioners. This program may allow up to one half of the annual property taxes to remain unpaid (to the extent of the owner's equity). All unpaid taxes become a lien against the property. The taxes must be paid if affidavits aren't filed, if the property is sold or transferred, if the owner dies, or if ordered by the county commissioners. Commissioners may order payment of any deferred taxes which exceed half the property's market value.
The property tax relief program is available to persons who meet certain gross income criteria. An affidavit must be filed on or before the second Monday in May with the county treasurer. The county treasurer shall issue all refunds due on or before August 31 of the year in which application is made.
*Industrial property is assessed at 11.5%.