Park County residents can expect noticeably higher property taxes this year.

That’s the synopsis Pat Meyer, county assessor, said after his department made some of its final 2021 estimates for valuations on all of its nearly 25,000 taxable accounts.

There were 7% more homes sold in the county in 2020, and homes sold for about 8.5-12.5% more in Park County on average in 2020, which could lead to an increase up to 20-30% in individual property values.

The average sales price of in-town Cody properties rose 9.5% while rural Cody properties only rose 1.4%.

He said the biggest reason for the jump is not only an increase in home sales, but also a trend of people buying homes for more than they are valued for, a practice sources have told him is being particularly perpetuated by people moving here from outside the region, mostly from places where home prices are substantially higher.

Meyer said his staff has repeatedly heard tales of bidding wars, buyers paying more than asking prices and properties only lasting on the market for a minimal amount of time before being snatched up – sometimes sight-unseen – and purchased with enough cash to cover the full asking price.

“Sometimes it takes a matter of hours for a property to be listed, available and shown before a high offer is settled upon,” Meyer wrote in a release. “There is no question and it is my strong opinion 2020 was a seller’s market.”

Also adding to the rise of home prices has been the skyrocketing price of building materials.

When a home is purchased for higher than its true value, Meyer said it will stay at that elevated level permanently, barring an event like a natural disaster or a historic economic crash.

Meyer said it is with a conservative reflection of the market his staff makes their valuations.

“It’s a conservative county, people like their taxes low,” he said.

If a house appraises for $300,000, it is taxed at .095%, which gives the property an assessed value of $28,500. The assessed value is then multiplied by the local mill levy, which would typically average out to a tax bill of $1,995.

The assessor’s office is required by state law to follow the market and adjust property values to meet the standards set forth by the Wyoming Department of Revenue and State Board of Equalization. These standards involve a coefficient formula requiring assessors to appraise a property within 15% of its median appraisal value for an array of sale properties in one neighborhood. Meyer said his department is usually within 10% on this range.

“We really like to stay below (100%) for taxes,” he said. “We’re not pushing the market, we’re just following it.”

(8) comments

Tom Conners

The rents will no doubt go up to...after all it's called capitalism.

Scott Conger

No, Tom, it's called inflation. It's what happens when landlords have to pay higher taxes...they pass that cost on to the consumer (tenant). It is no fun renting a home to someone for less than it costs you to pay the mortgage/taxes/insurance/maintenance. I have great tenants for long term. They are great because they pay on time and care for the property...they stay because in appreciation for their diligence, I do NOT raise rent annually...only infrequently, and in response to rising costs, and have rented at a loss this past year to give them a break when their jobs were not certain. That can't continue indefinitely or the bank will get the properties back. That's called reality.

Tom Conners

OIC..is that also what it's called when demand outstrips supply?

Tom Conners

OIC,does that mean when demand outstrips supply it is inflation also? Tell that to folks paying $7.00 a gallon for gas in South Carolina.

Scott Conger

Tom, as a matter of fact, the South Carolina situation you cited is an excellent example of demand-pull inflation. By definition, it is usually temporary or at least quickly mitigated by the market responding to the demand and increasing supply. I guess this stuff is no longer taught in school.

Tom Conners

It's just plain old greed and most sane people know it who are not born with a silver spoon in their mouth.

Jim Guelde

A big round of applause for the Park County Realtors and the purchasers so eager to escape to Wyoming that they are willing… no, eager… to overpay for their new nest.

Ragnar Fallbrook

On the one hand, considering the fact that rents and/or mortgage payments on homes in places people are moving here from range from 3-10x the average local range, I'm not surprised at all that they're "eager" to pay pennies on the dollar for the same square footage of housing.

On the other hand, our local family-owned business has been booming while catering to these incoming migrants who have excess money to burn on improvements.

It's a complicated mess and I'm quite conflicted on the issue.

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