FREMONT COUNTY– Fremont County residents paid $17,728,373 in property taxes in 2019 that was spread out among 26 taxing districts. The sum is derived from more than $1 billion in assessed county property values.
“That net taxable value for Fremont County is $1,899,709,219 when you add up the value for all the property in Fremont County owned by private residents and business owners,” said Fremont County Clerk Abbie Mace.
About 69 percent of the county is publicly owned meaning such entities don’t pay taxes. The federal government reimburses counties for that money to the tune of $1.1 million a year. The state’s Circuit Breaker program chips in funds to cover the taxes of low-income, elderly and disabled residents. That reimbursement back to the county equals $150,000 a year.
Each property taxpayer’s tax assessment varies according to the district they live in and the value of their home. Nobody in the county pays into every one of the 26-taxing districts, said Fremont County Treasurer and Tax Collector J’lene Cherry.
“No one pays on all of them. There are districts that don’t cover the entire county. There are some that are countywide — the county and ambulance district,” she said.
Ashton receives $386,453 in property taxes while St. Anthony is given $749,020. Parker receives $30,492 and Teton’s take is $24,168. Drummond receives $674 while Warm River doesn’t receive any tax funds.
“They choose not to levy,” Mace said.
Fremont County also receives $8,987,476 of the property taxes into its coffers.
Depending on which part of the county they live in, residents pay into either the Sugar Salem or Fremont School Districts. Sugar Salem receives $502,342 while Fremont is allotted $3,908,414.
Even though Fremont County has no hospital, the county still charges a hospital tax of $364,732. That money is given to the Ashton Nursing Home, Ashton Clinic and Island Park Clinic, Mace said.
The Fremont Ambulance District receives $366,447 a year. The Fort Henry Mosquito Abatement District gets $16, 992.
Every April, Mace hands out budget request forms to district officials. In June, department heads and the commissioners go over the requests. In the meantime, County Assessor Barbara Hirschi assesses Fremont County property values. In July, the Board of Equalization meets with property owners wanting to protest their assessments.
“Once the values are done – we call it the ‘main roll’ – we send that into the state tax commission. We continue to work on budgets during that time and put a balanced budget together. All of the hearings for the tax districts have to be done the Monday after Labor Day each year,” she said.
At that point, the taxing districts turn in their budget requests to Mace who calculates the levies and has those done by the 4th week of August. The Treasurer’s office then calculates the taxes and sends out tax notices in November with payments expected in December and June.
“Everything has timelines that have to work together. My whole summer is spent doing budgets,” Mace said.