by nathan oster
Big Horn County experienced a 6.6 percent increase in assessed property value during the past year, according to figures released this week by Assessor Gina Anderson.
The county’s total assessed valuation grew from $201.5 million to $215.8 million.
While still far below the 10-year high of $307.7 million, which occurred in 2009, this year’s total still represents a rebound of sorts for the county, which had experienced valuations decreases in each of the past two years.
In 2016, it fell from $279.2 million to $215.1 million.
In 2017, the drop was from $215.1 million to $201.5 million.
Anderson chalked this year’s increase up to state-assessed property value, noting that the $15.6 million leap in solid minerals (bentonite, gypsum, sand/gravel), petroleum minerals (oil and natural gas) and railroad/utilities more than made up for a slight decline of about $1.3 million in total local value.
The largest increase in the state-assessed valuation occurred in oil, which rose 22 percent ($40.5 million to $52.1 million), followed by bentonite at 8 percent ($31.8 to $34.5 million) and railroad at 7 percent ($9.7 million to $10.4 million). Anderson said declines were noted in gypsum ($440,098, down from $870,959) and sand/gravel ($56,656, down from $80,205).
Overall, though, the trends are positive, she said.
“Hopefully we will see more of the same in 2019, as the first quarter estimate for oil and gas shows an increase from last year of 36 percent,” she said. “Of course, it needs to stay up for the rest of the year.”
District by district
Because most of the valuation gains occurred on state-assessed lands, Anderson said it will be the school districts, and not the municipalities, that experience the biggest increases in tax revenue.
All four school districts in Big Horn County experienced valuation increases this year. District 3 in Greybull was valued at $85.2 million, District No. 1 in Cowley/Burlington at $55.6 million, District No. 2 in Lovell at $40.2 million and District No. 4 in Basin in $34.6 million.
Five of the nine municipalities experienced valuation increases, including Lovell ($11.8 million), Basin ($7.5 million), Cowley ($4.8 million), Deaver ($906,701) and Manderson ($591,075).
Slight declines in valuation occurred in Greybull ($9.8 million), Byron ($2.2 million), Burlington ($1.6 million) and Frannie ($480,108).
Among the other special taxing districts, all but four experienced valuation increases. The four that did not were Fire District No. 4 (Otto-Burlington-Emblem), which dropped from $14.1 to $13.9 million, Burlington Cemetery ($8.07 to $8.04 million), Emblem ($2.9 to $2.8 million) and Lovell ($48.9 to $48.2 million).
Here are the total valuations of the other districts in Big Horn County:
– North Big Horn Hospital, $128.3 million.
– South Big Horn Hospital, $86.0 million.
– Rural Health Care District, $90.1 million.
– North Senior Citizens, $128.3 million
– South Big Horn Senior Service, $86.0 million.
– Park County Fire District No. 1, $324,950
– Fire District No. 1 (Lovell), $101 million
– Fire District No. 2 (Basin), $15.1 million
– Fire District No. 3 (Manderson), $9.6 million
– Fire Protection District No. 5, $6.6 million
– Byron Cemetery, $51.1 million
– Cowley Cemetery, $21.0 million
– Deaver-Frannie Cemetery, $8.0 million
– Hyattville Cemetery, $6.3 million
– Otto Cemetery, $4.2 million
– South Central Cemetery, $22.8 million
– Shoshone Conservation District, $126.4 million
– South Big Horn Conservation District, $89.3 million
– Byron Solid Waste Disposal, $49 million
– Big Horn County Solid Waste, $166.8 million.