Big Horn County

 The Language of Assessment

Property assessment and taxation is a complex subject. Knowing the terminology will help you understand the assessment process. The Big Horn County Assessor's office is dedicated to educating the public about procedures and methods used to be in compliance with State of Wyoming statutes, rules and regulations.

Fair Market Value is the amount of money a well-informed buyer would pay and a well-informed seller would accept for property that has been on the open market for a reasonable amount of time, assuming neither buyer nor seller is acting under pressure.

Assessed Value is the taxable value of each property. This value is calculated by multiplying the fair market value by the level of assessment

Level of Assessment is the percentage of the fair market value that determines assessed value. The current level of assessment for industrial use properties is 11.5%; all other properties are at 9.5%. The level of assessment is set by the legislature and is subject to change.

Mill literally, one thousandth. For tax purposes: $1 of taxes for every $1,000 of assessed value.

Mill Levy is the number of dollars in taxes that a property owner must pay for every $1,000 of assessed value. This amount is based on budget requests from various taxing entities.

Assessment Date under Wyoming Statute is January 1st of each tax year. All properties are valued, assessed and taxed to the owner of record on this date.

Mass Appraisal is the process of valuing a universe of properties as of a given date, utilizing standard methodology, employing common data, and allowing for statistical testing. The goal of mass appraisal is the same as fee appraisal: to develop a reasonable estimate of fair market value.

CAMA (Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal) is a computer system developed by the State of Wyoming to perform three functions:

1. Warehouse information collected by the assessor's office staff. Information such as ownership, location, size, use, physical characteristics, condition, and sales information must be continually updated.
2. CAMA is like a complex calculator. It contains equations, cost and depreciation tables which automate standard appraisal methods to estimate fair market value.
3. Quality control features such as reports generated using various parameters.

Real Property is defined as land and improvements (buildings and structures) permanently fixed to the land.

Personal Property includes material assets that are not fixed to the land: furniture, machinery or equipment, transportable homes.

Statement of Consideration is a document, which provides sales information that must be used in addition to other information to determine current market value. The seller, buyer or agent completes the document at the time of a property transfer. Information is confidential and not public record. Property owners may review the sales information used to determine the value of their property. The SOC review period is only during the 30-day appeal period and the property owner may not further disclose the sales information to other persons or property owners. Sales information may be introduced to the County Board of Equalization during a formal appeal, but actions must be taken to prevent its indiscriminate disclosure.

Neighborhood Boundaries are developed by the assessor based on physical, economical, governmental, or social factors. These neighborhood boundaries are used when sales studies are done. Neighborhood maps are available for review in the assessor's office.

Tax Districts are the geographic area on which a taxing entity has the right to levy taxes. These entities include school districts, counties, cities, water or sewer districts, fire districts or other specially formed districts as designated by state statute.

Tax Base is the total value of property against which the property tax is levied.

Property Tax Appraiser is the designation given to those persons who have completed the education and training mandated by the State of Wyoming for anyone making a valuation judgment used as a basis for property taxation.

2018 District Valuations PDF

2019 District Valuations PDF

2020 District Valuations PDF

School District #1 56,160,614
School District #2 53,694,296
School District #3 84,611,879
School District #4 36,524,434
North Big Horn Hospital 139,193,831
South Big Horn Hospital 90,601,639
Rural Health Care District 90,414,024
North Senior Citizens 139,193,831
South Big Horn County Senior Service 90,601,639
Park County Fire Dist #1      341,179
Fire District #1 (Lovell) 109,519,774
Fire District #2 (Basin) 15,825,181
Fire District #3 (Manderson) 9,349,636
Fire District #4 (Ott-Burl-Emb) 14,308,828
Fire Protection Dist #5 7,045,204
Burlington Cemetery 8,278,545
Byron Cemetery 54,188,216
Cowley Cemetery 18,207,117
Deaver-Frannie Cemetery 8,598,691
Emblem Cemetery 2,901,566
Hyattville Cemetery 6,752,228
Lovell Cemetery 58,349,381
Otto Cemetery 3,923,658
South Central Cemetery 25,409,927
Shoshone Conservation Dist.        137,697,892
SBH Conservation Dist. 92,762,445
Byron Solid Waste Disposal 53,697,438
Big Horn County Solid Waste (2) 176,724,558
Basin Town 8,087,808
Burlington Town 1,890,599
Byron Town 2,553,237
Cowley Town 5,282,044
Deaver Town 1,023,922
Frannie Town 529,565
Greybull Town 10,650,971
Lovell Town 12,898,906
Manderson Town 648,085
Total Local Value 109,909,090
State Assessed 121,082,133
Big Horn County Total Valuation 230,991,223


Many states have laws regarding the preferential assessment of agricultural land. This means that farm and ranch assessments are usually based on the land's capability to produce agricultural products. In Wyoming , agricultural land is taxed based on the land's productivity capability under normal conditions.

Designation of Classification and Valuation of Agricultural Lands

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.
  • 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”. 

Determining Productivity
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 crop, dry crop, 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.
  • Productivity. The following three categories of agricultural land are used in identifying productivity. 

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 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.

Range Land
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.

Determining Value
Once ownership has been identified, land use has been established, and the productive capability has been tabulated for the parcel, a four-step valuation process begins:

  • Determine Prices of Agricultural Products. This information is derived from the Wyoming Agricultural Statistics Service's commodity price data. This information, which consists of all hay, all wheat and grazing prices, is converted to a five (5) year weighted average.
  • Capitalization Rate Selection. This rate is based on the Farm Credit Services of Omaha Long Term Portfolio rates, which are also converted to a five (5) year weighted average.
  • Determine Net Income. To determine the net income, the unit price of each of the 3 commodities is multiplied times the production per acre. Next, the landlord share is determined, if applicable, then the expenses and production losses are deducted to establish a net income to the landlord.
  • Capitalize Net Income. The final step in the process is capitalizing the net income. The following formula illustrates the valuation process:

Yield Net Value Per

Per Acre x Commodity Unit
_______________________________ = Land Value

Capitalization Per Acre


Figuring the Tax Bill
Wyoming is a fractional assessment state. This means that the taxable value is based on a portion of the full value. In Wyoming , this fractional amount is 9.5% for agricultural property. To arrive at the assessed value, multiply the total land value per acre times 9.5%. The assessed value is then multiplied by the appropriate tax district mill levy to obtain the tax.

Application for Agricultural Classification as Defined by 39-13-103(b)(x)