WHY WYOMING? NUMBER ONE TAX FRIENDLY
There are plenty of reasons to want to own a home in Wyoming: the mountains, the black hills, the big rivers, trophy hunting and fishing, our national parks and substantial public lands, the grand vistas, abundant wildlife and friendly fun-loving communities. The relaxed lifestyle we live here is annually, sometimes more so, touched by the reality of TAXES. We as Wyoming residents are better off than most, and have been cited by Bloomberg Wealth Management as “the most friendly tax state in the country”. We have more disposable income to enjoy our touched lifestyles because we have chosen to live in Wyoming.
Just what makes us so friendly? The ten best reasons are:
1. NO STATE INCOME TAX: Including no state tax on personal or corporate income.
2. DYNASTY TRUSTS: A dynasty trust administered in Wyoming can shield your real estate from federal estate taxes for up to 1000 years. Establishing a trust in Wyoming for the benefit of your family or other beneficiaries, transferring real estate into an LLC or family partnership placed into the dynasty trust can continue shelter for 1000 years. This means your generations to come can enjoy and use the property without having to pay estate taxes or worse yet, sell the place to pay the taxes. (Trusts also protect assets from federal taxes following death of the Trustee.) If you own property, you should seriously consider having a trust in place.
3. NO INHERITANCE TAX: The very limited estate tax Wyoming can collect is tied to the federal estate tax credit, and has to be a very large estate before that would kick in, so essentially Wyoming does not collect inheritance tax.
4. NO STATE GIFT TAX: You can “gift” real estate to heirs without worry of a state gift tax.
5. NO TAX ON OUT OF STATE RETIREMENT INCOME: Wyoming does not tax retirement income earned outside of Wyoming.
6. LOW PROPERTY TAXES: Compared to other states, even with the recent changes we all saw in our proposed taxes this spring, we are very low. Wyoming mandates how property shall be valued, the state has a formula for calculation of market values every county must abide by, hence the changes we saw this spring. In Crook County the market value is multiplied by .095 (tax rate), that number is your assessed value. The assessed value is multipled by (mil levy) of .0615 (or .0695 inside corporate city limits). This final number is your tax dollar. The mil levy is set (annually) by the county commissioners based on county budget and not to exceed 12 mils as mandated by Wyoming. So if your taxes are too high, the county commissioners are the ones in the power of making an across the board adjustment to offset increases we saw.
7. NO EXCISE TAX: When you fill up at the pumps or head to the grocery store in Wyoming you will not pay any state tax on your gas or food.
8. NO TAX ON MINERAL OWNERSHIP: Many states charge mineral owners a tax on mineral ownership, Wyoming does not.
9. NO INTANGIBLE TAX: That means no tax on financial assets such as stocks or bonds.
10. NO TAX ON THE SALE OF REAL ESTATE: No doc tax or stamp tax as many other states.
With the changes in our economy over the past three decades, everyone is looking for a way to protect assets and preserve income for maintaining their lifestyle in their golden years, as well comfort and enjoyment in the platinum years we are all living to anymore. Across the country for many decades farms and ranches have been lost due to taxes. With education we are finding ways to protect our property for our future generations. More and more people looking to protect and preserve their quality of life are finding Wyoming has the most to offer. Our friendly status also allows more disposable income to invest in real estate, build a nest egg, or enjoy life more with creature comforts.
ON A COUNTY LEVEL UNDERSTAND YOUR TAXES:
Property taxes are one of the primary sources of funds for local governments, counties, school districts, cities, towns and special agencies such as water and sewer districts. The state has not levied a property tax for a long time. The federal government does not receive any revenue from your property tax. Property taxes are based upon the market value of your property. Market value reflects the worth of your property as of January 1 of each tax year.
The legislature requires that County Assessors annually update property values. Assessors are also required to complete a detailed review of property characteristics for each property at least once every six years. The State Board of Equalization may take corrective action if county assessments do not meet established standards.
What is Taxed?
The residence and any additional structures and land are valued. Property taxes are not charged on home furnishings or furniture except where they are part of a furnished rental property.
Market vs Taxable Value
Market value is the price your property would sell for if it were offered for a reasonable amount of time. This assumes that both the buyer and seller are unrelated, well-informed and under no pressure to buy or sell the property. Taxable value is the value used to calculate taxes due on your property. A residence (both land and buildings) receives a 90 ½ percent reduction from market value.
• Residential market value $100,000
• Residential reduction 90.5%
• Taxable value ($100,000 x 9.5 = $9,500)
Tax rates are set by the various political entities with the legal power to levy taxes. These governmental entities include counties; school districts; cities and towns; and special taxing districts, such as water and sewer districts and cemetery districts. Once the taxing entities have adopted their budgets and tax rates, the tax rates cannot be appealed. However, obvious factual errors may still be corrected by the county. Your tax notice indicates the amount you pay to each taxing entity. To calculate your taxes, multiply your taxable value by the tax rate.
Example: If the tax rate was 80 mills, the formula would look like this:
• Taxable Value x Tax Rate = Tax Due $9,500 x .080 = $760.00
Taxes are due and payable at the office of the County
Treasurer of the county in which the taxes are levied. Fifty percent (50%) of the taxes are due by November 10 in each year and the remaining fifty percent (50%) of the taxes are due by May 10 of the succeeding calendar year. If the entire tax is paid on or before December 31, no interest or penalty will be charged.
Disabled veterans and their surviving spouses are eligible for this exemption. Filing date is on or before the fourth Monday in May with the County Assessor.
Property “Tax Relief” Program
The program is available to elderly, disabled, and low income home owners or if the home was purchased prior to December 31, 1987. This program may allow up to one half of the annual property taxes to remain unpaid. All unpaid taxes become a lien against the property. Filing date is on or before the second Monday in May with the County Treasurer.
Home Owner’s Tax Credit
The circuit breaker tax credit is allowed only if the legislature has appropriated moneys to reimburse the counties.
Property Tax Refund Program
The property tax refund program is available to persons who meet certain gross income criteria. An application must be filed on or before the first Monday in June with the county treasurer or Department of Revenue. The Department of Revenue shall issue all refunds due on or before September 30 of the year in which application is made.
The person assessed may object to the assessment and valuation within thirty (30) days of the date of postmark on the schedule, at the County Assessor’s Office. Your appeal must address the issue of market value, not the rate of tax. Evidence supporting your estimation of the market value must be included in the appeal. If you do not agree with the County Board of Equalization’s decision, you may appeal to the State Board of Equalization. Appeals to the State Board of Equalization must be filed within 30 days after the final action of the County Board of Equalization.
For More Information
Contact your County Assessor if you have questions regarding:
• property value
• mailing address
• legal descriptions
• residential exemptions
• tax relief programs
• tax rates
• valuation appeals
Contact your County Clerk if you have questions regarding:
• legal descriptions
• delinquent taxes
• tax payments
Missy McAmis is the Broker/Owner of a Real Estate Agency licensed in WY, MT, SD. She is also an e-PRO, GRI & REALTOR. Missy has over 25 years experience in investing, buying and selling of real estate across the nation. Information deemed reliable but not guaranteed.