Wyoming Constitution Article 15, Section 11. "(a) All property, except as in this constitution otherwise provided, shall be uniformly valued at its full value as defined by the legislature, in three (3) classes”
Wyoming Statute 39-13-103. "(b)(i) Except as otherwise provided: (A) All taxable property shall be annually listed, valued, and assessed for taxation in the county in which located and in the name of the owner of the property on January 1.
Wyoming Statute39-13-103. "(b)(ii) Property valued at fair market value. All property shall be annually valued at its fair market value. Except as otherwise provided by law for a specific property, the department (Department of Revenue) shall prescribe by rule and regulation the appraisal methods and systems for determining market value using generally accepted appraisal standards."
Wyoming Statute 34-1-142 thru 144 requires the filing of a Statement of Consideration (SOC) as part of each property transfer. These forms contain sales information. The statute also states that an individual SOC cannot be used to adjust the assessment on a property.
A Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal (CAMA) system is the basis used in Washakie County. This is a cost system consisting of a Marshall Swift Cost Estimator supported by state enhancements. Property characteristics are collected by field appraisers and entered into the system. This data generates a Replacement Cost New (RCN). With the entry of the year of construction, effective age, and condition a Replacement Cost New Less Depreciation (RCNLD) is developed on each property in the county. Property Profile Records are maintained on each property listing specific information and including a basic sketch of the house and attachments. Information on other miscellaneous improvements such as sheds or outbuildings and pictures of the property are included. The CAMA system used in Wyoming has been validated by WY Supreme Court Decision No. 94-19, Gray vs WY SBOE, 6/9/95.
In the process of developing a market value for each property as of January 1 for a given year, sales information for an area is analyzed to develop adjustments that must be applied to the RCNLD to bring the property to its current market value. One of the first and more important areas of consideration are properties within a geographic neighborhood and their relative sales ratios. This is because the neighborhoods have been developed on Location, Economic Forces, Governmental and Social Factors, and Boundaries that group properties with similarities. Within neighborhoods, other considerations may be age, type of construction, etc. Through the use of computer programs, information gained from properties that have been sold can be used on properties not sold to achieve a fair market value for all properties.
During the month of March or April of each year Notice of Valuations are mailed to each property owner listing the estimated Market Value and Assessment. In addition, the previous year's tax and estimated tax for the current year will be listed using the previous year's Mill Levy. The previous year's information will not be listed on properties that have had changes in legal description or if they did not exist in the previous year (i.e., newly platted). Property owners have the right to appeal the values placed on their property; however, the appeal MUST be filed within 30 days of the assessment mail date. Property Profile Records are available for the owner's review to ensure the accuracy of the information used to generate the property's market value. These are available at any time for review. Our goal is to make estimates of value based on the best information available.
Formula For Tax Dollars
Fair Market Value x Level of Assessment = Assessed Value
Assessed Value x Mill Levy = Tax Dollars.
W.S. 39-13-103 states: The department of revenue shall determine the taxable value of agricultural land. In determining the taxable value for assessment purposes, the value of agricultural land shall be based on the current use of the land, and the capability of the land to produce agricultural products, including grazing and forage, based on average yields of lands of the same classification under normal conditions.
Ag Land Definitions
Common questions arise in the classification of agricultural lands. Wyoming uses the following points as criteria:
As of the assessment date, the land is being used for an agricultural purpose, which includes: a.) cultivation of the soil for production of crops; or b.) production of timber products or grasses for forage; or c.) rearing, feeding, grazing or management of livestock.
The land is not part of a platted subdivision. Except: any lot, unit, tract or parcel not less than thirty-five (35) acres in size used for agricultural purposes within a platted subdivision and otherwise qualifying as agricultural land for purposes of W.S.39-13-103(b)(x). The parcel shall be deemed not to be part of a platted subdivision for purposes of W.S. 39-13-103(b)(B)(II).
If the land is not leased land, the owner has derived annual gross revenues of not less than five hundred dollars ($500) from the marketing of agricultural products. If the land is leased, the lessee has derived annual gross revenue of not less than one thousand dollars ($1,000) from marketing of agricultural products from the subject land.
The land has been used or employed, consistent with the land's size, location, and capability to produce as defined by the Department's rules and the “Mapping and Agricultural Manual”.
There are three steps that must be satisfied to determine agricultural land productivity value:
Classification. Identifying property ownership and classifying property types (i.e., urban, suburban, agricultural land, etc.) is the responsibility of the County Assessor's office. The proper identification of property ownership is essential to the agricultural land evaluation process. It determines the ownership boundaries and is the first step in determining land use.
Land Use. There are three major categories of agricultural land. They are irrigated crops, dry crops, and rangeland. Any, or all three, may be found in any given parcel of land. To properly value each agricultural parcel, these categories must be correctly identified and located. This is accomplished through the use of various materials, including aerial photography. All non-producing land (i.e. farmsteads).
Productivity. The following three categories of agricultural land are used in identifying productivity, are valued at full value.
Irrigated Crop Land
Tons of all hay per acre is the productivity measurement used for valuing irrigated cropland. This “measurement” is determined from environmental factors that affect the soil's ability to produce. These “factors,” or limitations, are published in the United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service's Soil Survey – and include items such as precipitation, length of the growing season, slope, etc.
Dry Crop Land
Bushels of all wheat, per acre, are the productivity measurement used for valuing dry cropland. As with irrigated cropland, this “measurement” is determined by environmental factors that affect the soil's ability to produce. The “factors,” or limitations, are the same as those used with irrigated cropland.
Animal Unit Months or AUMs is the productivity measurement used for valuing rangeland. The term “AUM” is defined as the amount of forage required to sustain a 1,000 pound cow, with or without a calf, for one month.
Commercial Personal Property
Wyoming Constitution Article 15, Section 11. "(a) All property, except as in this constitution otherwise provided, shall be uniformly valued at its full value as defined by the legislature, in three (3) classes as follows:... (iii) All other property, real and personal......
Wyoming Statute 39-13-103. "(b)(i) Except as otherwise provided: (A) All taxable property shall be annually listed, valued and assessed for taxation in the county in which located and in the name of the owner of the property on January 1;" (continued)
Wyoming Statute 39-13-103. "(b)(ii)Property valued at fair market value. All property shall be annually valued at its fair market value. Except as otherwise provided by law for specific property, the department (Department of Revenue) shall prescribe by rule and regulation the appraisal methods and systems for determining market value using generally accepted appraisal standards."
Wyoming Department of Revenue Rules, Chapter 9 Sec 6(f)(B). Identifies the Wyoming Personal Property Valuation Manual as the instrument of 39-13-103 above. The manual contains general listings of personal property categories, trending and depreciation tables and other related information. The Manual is available from the Wyoming Department of Revenue, 122 West 25th Street, Herschler Building, Cheyenne, WY 82002-0110.
The Washakie County Assessor is charged with the responsibility of identifying, valuing and assessing all personal property not specifically exempt by statutes. To meet this end procedures have been established and outlined as follows:
Identification of Businesses: Commercial and industrial operations are identified through various means such as sales tax lists, telephone books, advertisements, observations or word of mouth. New businesses are added to a historical listing of businesses in the Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal (CAMA) sub-system developed by the state. The information contained in this file is used to generate letters and forms sent to the businesses each year requesting updated reports/renditions of personal property. The timetable for the mailing of the forms is in early December of each year and they must be completed and returned by the following March 1st.
Taxable Personal Property: All tangible personal property used in a business is taxable and must be listed. This will include (but not limited to) all furniture, fixtures, machines, computers, software, equipment, telephone systems, tools, manuals or libraries, unlicensed vehicles, mobile machinery, along with any small items used in a business. Leasehold improvements must be reported, but listed separately and clearly identified. Leased equipment must be listed in detail along with the name and address of the lease company. Inventory held for resale and licensed vehicles should not be reported. Inventory items do not generate income.
Information Needed: To ensure that a proper value is placed on each item of personal property, it is in the interest of the owner to list as much information as possible. If you paid separately for freight, installation, taxes or other fees, the cost must be either added to the item or listed separately and identified. Information needed is the Description, Make and Model, Installed Cost, Date Acquired, and Year Built. These will establish the category, trending, and depreciation tables used in arriving at a value for tax purposes.
Property Location: This field on the personal property form must be completed to ensure that the property is assessed in the appropriate tax district. A separate form should be completed for each location.
Update Reporting: After the first year of reporting this office will generate and mail a personal property listing reflecting the information provided the previous year. Corrections, deletions, and additions must be made to the forms and returned to this office by the March 1st deadline.
All property owners subject to taxation will be notified by the 4th Monday in April of each year with the mailing of Notice of Valuations. These assessments will have the estimated market value and the assessed value of the property reported and as with all assessments must be appealed within 30 days of the mail date if the owner objects to the value.
If a business subject to personal property assessment fails to report or respond to inquiries An Estimate of Value will be placed on the property based on the best available information. All reports are subject to on-site review or audit for accuracy of reporting.
Proper reporting of property is a responsibility and part of doing business. It aids in the fair and equal assessment intended by the constitution and supporting statutes.