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April 13, 2010 3:42 am

Preliminary estimates say Park County valuation down

Written by Tribune Staff

Early estimates say Park County's assessed value is down more than $316 million from last year.

The Wyoming Consensus Revenue Estimating Group (CREG) recently released figures projecting that Park County's assessed valuation will drop from a record $1.033 billion in 2009 to roughly $716 million this year.

Despite fears of doom and gloom, “We're just a little less than the 2007 version, so that isn't so bad,” said Park County Assessor Doug Brandt.

The drop is expected to be largely due to decreased mineral and natural gas prices, which soared in 2008 (the basis for the 2009 valuation) before slumping.

CREG is projecting that local property values — such as residences — will essentially hold steady from last year, while mineral valuations fall around 44 percent, said Brandt.

“This isn't a crash and burn; last year was just high,” he said. The county's valuation was $778 million in 2008 and $721 million in 2007.

Brandt is beginning the process of crunching his own numbers for 2010 as data starts trickling in.

Valuations are ultimately used to calculate property taxes. Last year, around two thirds of Park County's assessed valuation and property taxes came from the oil and gas industry.