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Posted on: September 25, 2020

Special Districts and Property Tax Distributions


Updated on 9/26 to clarify that this article is meant to explain property tax distributions only.  There are many other sources of funding that come from the county to various special districts (for example, conservation districts, schools, towns, hospitals, etc.) but those funds are not addressed in this particular article. We will continue to do our best to explain the county budget and its complexities over the next several weeks. 

We’ve had many questions regarding the county budget deficit, a popular one being “Why can’t the county just give the special districts less of the property tax collected?”  The simple answer (for a fairly complex process) is that for standard and special taxing districts, the Rio Blanco County government acts only as a pass-through for property tax dollars, responsible for collecting and distributing the funds, with no authority regarding how much each district receives. 

Every taxing district within the county (there are seven standard districts and seventeen special districts) has a mill levy (tax rate) that was voted on by the public at one point in history.  Any mill levy increase must be voted on by the public. 

All Rio Blanco County property owners receive a property tax bill once a year, which lists each taxing district the property owner owes taxes to (such as the Rangely or Meeker Cemetery) and the amount due for each.  Taxes due depends on where the property is located (there are twenty-eight tax areas countywide).  For example, only those living inside the Town of Rangely limits will pay the Town of Rangely mill levy.

Total revenue collected from property tax for all taxing districts was $41,369,754 in 2019. The chart below shows mill levy and distribution for each district. 

Again, the funds are collected and distributed based on previous voter approval.  

For a comprehensive and detailed description of Levies and Values, visit the Assessor’s page or click here:

For a map of the taxing districts:

Quick definitions:

Mill Levy: A mill levy is a "tax rate" that is applied to the assessed value of a property. One mill is one dollar per $1,000 dollars of assessed value. 

Taxing districtA government entity that levies or has levied for it regular property taxes upon real property located within a proposed or approved revenue development area.

Special district:  Independent, special-purpose governmental units that exist separately from local governments such as county, municipal, and township governments, with substantial administrative and fiscal independence. They are formed to perform a single function or a set of related functions.

Tax Districts

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