GILLETTE — Campbell County’s assessed valuation has dropped to a level not seen since the mid-2000s.
The county’s assessed valuation — or its taxable value — for 2021 is about $3.4 billion. That is a decrease of about $850 million, or 20 percent, from 2020, when it was $4.24 billion.
It is the first time since 2005 that Campbell County’s assessed valuation has dropped below $4 billion, and it’s the lowest level seen since 2004, when it was at $3.2 billion.
It’s the largest year-to-year decrease since 2017, when it dropped to $4.18 billion from 2016’s $5.29 billion.
The big decrease doesn’t come as a surprise.
“We pretty much figured all the minerals were obviously going to be down,” County Assessor Troy Clements said.
Coal accounted for 51.7 percent of the total, with $1.75 billion. That is a drop of 20 percent from 2020, and the lowest amount since 2005.
Oil dropped to $614 million, a 37-percent decrease from $976 million in 2020.
Coal, oil and gas together made up $2,465,592,453, or 72.7 percent of the total. Those are taxed at 100 percent of their value, while residential properties are taxed at 9.5 percent.
In 2020, those three made up $3.29 billion, or 77.6% of the total. The year before, their total was $3.53 billion, or 79 percent.
Based on the assessed valuation, 1 mill in Campbell County will raise $3,392,573.
The county commissioners recently passed a budget of $109 million for fiscal year 2022, which is $5 million below last year’s budget.
Despite the steep drop, Campbell County’s assessed valuation is still the highest in the state, and the commissioners were able to slightly reduce the county’s mill levy to 11.253 mills.
Clements said he hopes “that things are starting to plateau, starting to level out a little bit.”
Commissioner Colleen Faber said the county needs to keep watching its budget closely over the next few years.
“We may have to tighten our belts as we go along,” she said. “But I don’t believe we’ll have significant, noticeable impacts for quite some time.”
Clements said he’s heard rumblings of increased drilling activity in the oil fields.
“That doesn’t necessarily mean production will go up,” he said.
“Oil prices, mostly, are going up, I would look for us to see a little rebound in that next year,” Faber said.
“Before the pandemic, they were one of our sectors that were growing.”