Property owner participation and education is extremely important to a fair system of taxation. The Assessor's goal is to ensure all taxpayers are aware of their rights and to make the process as efficient and painless as possible.
Calendar of Events
- Wyoming Statute 39-13-103 directs that all property will be listed, valued and assessed as of January 1 of each year. Assessment Schedules must be mailed to all property owners on or before the fourth Monday of April.
- Wyoming Statute 39-13-109(b)(i) requires persons wishing to contest their assessment to file not later than 30 days after the date, a statement with the Assessor outlining their reason or disagreement with the assessment. The Assessor and Protestant must disclose witnesses and exchange information, evidence and documents relevant to the appeal no later than 30 days prior to the scheduled county board of equalization hearing. Hearings are usually scheduled for June.
The Assessment Schedules mailed by the Assessor's Office contain the legal description of the property, the estimated fair market value and the assessed value. When the property owner receives the assessment schedule it should be opened immediately and reviewed. Particular attention should be paid to the Market Value. Does it represent what the property would have been worth if sold on January 1? If the value is within reason and no other errors are noted on the assessment schedule, further action is not required. However, if you disagree with the value, come in to the Assessor's Office as soon as possible to initiate the review process. The process is divided into Review and Formal Appeal.
When the property owner comes into the office, the Property Record Card is reviewed and all property characteristic information is checked for accuracy. This includes square foot size, construction, finished area, out buildings, etc. Any changes may affect the final market value. During this review, the property owner may provide any information they would like to have considered such as appraisals, market analysis, special conditions or influences they feel may affect the property value.
Upon completion of the review if any discrepancies were discovered, the property owner will receive by mail, an amended assessment schedule reflecting the updated market value. At which time the taxpayer has a full 30 days to review and decide if the changes were satisfactory or if they would like to continue a formal appeal if so desired.
Formal Appeal Process
If after a review the property owner feels the value of his property is incorrect, he may file an official appeal. Official Appeal of Assessment forms are available in the Assessor's Office. Copies of the form or statement must be filed with Assessor not later than the close of business on the thirtieth (30th) day after the date the assessment schedule was properly sent pursuant to W.S. 39-13-103(b)(vii). A copy of the UNIFORM COUNTY BOARD OF EQUALIZATION PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE RULES are available for the property owner at the Assessor's Office. An appeal may be withdrawn at anytime by written notification to the Clerk's and Assessor's offices. A general order of proceedings follows:
- A hearing time/date is set and owner notified by mail. The County Assessor and the person contesting the assessment (petitioner) must disclose witnesses and exchange information, evidence and documents relevant to the appeal no later than THIRTY (30) days prior to the hearing. This includes anything that is to be presented as evidence during the hearing.
- The County Commissioners serve as the County Board of Equalization. Other persons attending the hearing may include the hearing officer, recording secretary, secretary to the board, counsel for the board, parties to the appeal.
- The Petitioner is first to present evidence or witnesses. Any testimony presented may be questioned by the Assessor, the Assessor's attorney, or member of the board.
- The Assessor or a deputy presents evidence or witnesses. The testimony may be questioned by the Petitioner, his agent or member of the board.
- After all testimony and evidence is presented, a brief closing statement may be made by each side.
The Board will notify participants in writing of their findings and any appeal action available to them no later than the first day of October.