Wyoming is under some financial stress if one is to believe the news stories. The city of Casper is also under financial stress as I'm guessing most if not all Wyoming cities and towns. There is talk about state and local governments looking for new revenue.
Let me tell you about one revenue they will not look into. And that is collecting the property taxes that are currently not collected from those who pay little to nothing. How this happens is beyond me, all I know is it happens on a big scale. And I'm not talking about agricultural land which is another story.
Wyoming has a state constitution that explains what and how the property tax should be applied. The property tax is three separate taxes combined. The value of the land, of improvements and business related values, that are combined and called the property tax.
I did a bit of research and found that the assessments of land in and around Casper, and I suspect statewide, are mysterious at best. I found a thirteen acre piece of land that if assessed the same as that across the street would be worth about $2,000,000 yet pays about $500 a year. Out on east second street there is a piece of dirt assessed at $348,000 per acre. Next door the assessment is $800 per acre. Google says that is a 44,500% difference.
How come residential land in Mills is assessed 400% higher than land under the most palatial house in Casper? How come land in Brookhurst is some of the most valuable land in the area of Casper when it comes to assessments for tax purposes? One thing I discovered is the most valuable real estate around here pays the very least in property taxes. And that owners in Paradise Valley, North Casper, Allendale, pay more to make up the difference.
I mentioned this to Casper City Council, Natrona County commissioners, State Board of Equalization, a few of Wyoming state legislators, and news organizations and as a group they could care less. So much for that “liberty and justice for all” they constantly espouse.