Sand Creek Assessments Reversed

The Wyoming State Board of Equalization recently reversed a large increase in property tax assessments that were levied on the Sand Creek Ranch in Johnson County in 2008. Sand Creek Ranch General Manager John Jenkins feels that the assessments were excessive and illegal, and he's happy that the Board agreed.

The property tax bill for a one-acre homesite on the 836-acre ranch, went from $4,000 in 2007 to more than $120,000 in 2008. The tax hike came after Jenkins felt that he couldn't afford to keep the property in one piece on his own and created a platted subdivision on part of his land that was divided into 99 one-acre lots.

Jenkins then began selling interests in the ranch, where each buyer received one of the lots as well as an interest in the ranch itself, which contains a conservation easement and open space. Johnson County Assessor Dorothy Elsom revalued each lot to $168,632, which is the average price paid for one of Jenkins' ranch interests. That assessment was upheld by the Johnson County Board of Equalization.

The State Board of Equalization reversal of that decision states that the value of each acre-lot be set between $13,492 and $28,000, which is the price range of vacant rural land in the area.