Frequently Asked Questions About the Rec Mill
Here are some answers to the frequently asked questions about the recreation mill that is levied on taxable property.
What is a mill levy?
A mill levy is a property tax that's based on the valuation of a property. One mill is equal to $1 per every $1,000 of taxable value.
For example, if you have a house that is valued at $200,000, the taxable value is 9.5% of that, or $19,000. That would be 19 thousands of value, so a 1 mill levy would cost you $19 annually.
If the house was valued at $400,000, 1 mill would cost $38 annually, and so on.
Since it's levied against taxable property, anyone with taxable property, from real estate and commercial land to industrial property and oil and gas production, pays the mill levy.
What is the recreation mill?
Wyoming law allows cities, counties and school districts to levy up to 1 mill on all taxable property in their boundary for the purpose of public recreation.
Statewide, almost all school districts levy the 1 mill for recreation and very few counties and cities do. This is because cities and counties have a limit to how many mills they can levy -- 12 for the county and 8 for cities -- and if the city or county levies a mill for recreation, it has to come out of their legal limit.
School districts, on the other hand, are allowed to levy the 1 mill for recreation in addition to their other mills, making it a more attractive option.
Does that mean my property taxes will go up if the ballot question passes?
No. School District #1 and School District #2 already levy the 1 mill for recreation, so it's already included on your property tax bill. Since Wyoming law limits the recreation mill levy to a maximum of 1 mill, it cannot be increased.
Even if Converse County, the Town of Glenrock, or City of Douglas decided to levy 1 mill for recreation, it would have to be within their legal limit, which they all already levy. For example, Converse County levies their Constitutional maximum of 12 mills for operations. If they levied 1 mill for recreation, they would have to reduce their operations levy to 11, staying at or under the 12 mill limit.
Since the overall number of mills would not change, tax bills would not increase due to a mill levy increase.
How much revenue does the recreation mill generate?
The revenue from the recreation mill is dependent on the value of taxable property in the county. Revenue goes up when values increase and goes down when values decrease.
The revenue is also split between school districts, with people living in the School District #1 boundary paying 1 mill on their property tax bill that is distributed to CCSD #1 and people living within the School District #2 boundary paying 1 mill on their property tax bill that is distributed to CCSD #2.
Over the last five years, this is what the recreation mill has generated in revenue for each district:
|School District #1|
School District #2
Is this the money that would be used to build the recreation centers?
No. The construction funds would come from bonds paid for by a Special Purpose Excise Tax, which is an additional one-cent sales tax. The recreation mill is what currently funds the recreation centers and has been proposed as a source of funding to operate the new recreation centers in Douglas and Glenrock once they're built or remodeled.
Can the recreation mill be raised to more than 1 mill?
No. Wyoming law limits the levy for the purpose of recreation to a maximum of one mill. The only way to levy more than one mill would be for the Wyoming legislature to change the law.
Where does the recreation mill revenue go? / Who gets the recreation mill money?
Since the school districts are the entities that currently levy the recreation mill, the Treasurer's Office distributes those revenues to each school district, based on where the property is located. All tax revenue received on property in the CCSD #1 boundary is distributed to CCSD #1 and revenue received on property in the CCSD #2 boundary is distributed to CCSD #2.
If you have other questions about the recreation mill levy, send an email to the Treasurer, Joel Schell, and he'll get back to you.