TETON COUNTY, Wyo. — The Teton Conservation District (TCD) has announced the district’s Fiscal Year 2023 budget as well as updates to its mill levy, boundary changes and items on the November 2022 ballot.
The TCD Board of Supervisors approved the district’s Fiscal Year 2023 budget, which reduced the mill levy that the district collects from 0.8 mill to 0.6 mill. At 0.6 mill, Teton Conservation District’s allocation is about 1/100th of the average property tax bill, or one penny for every dollar of property tax paid. As property values have increased, TCD has chosen to maintain a consistent level of funding by reducing the mill levy.
“Suffice to say, as property taxes have increased for private landowners, the tax burden from Teton Conservation District has not,” says Steve McDonald, TCD’s board chair. “This year’s budgeting process marked our largest proportional decrease in mill levy collected.”
Teton Conservation District is in the final stages of transferring a portion of the district area to Cody Conservation District in Park County, Wyoming. TCD formerly included all of Teton County and the portion of Park County, WY within Yellowstone National Park. Going forward, the district boundary will match Teton County’s boundary as pictured below.
TCD was the only conservation district in the state that included more than one county.
“That meant we had to work with two counties for our administration,” explains Carlin Girard, executive director of TCD.
“Similarly, we found that our connection to, and ability to aid, the northern portion of Yellowstone National Park has been limited. In contrast, the Cody Conservation District, located in Cody, Wyoming, is geographically closer and has stronger ties to the people and issues in northern Yellowstone.”
On the Ballot
Since 1998, TCD has received a portion of its funding by a majority vote for the Conservation District Tax on the general election ballot, which has allowed the district to request up to 1 mill of assessed property value. The Conservation District Tax will be on the November 2022 ballot.
Additionally, there will be three TCD board supervisor positions up for election come November. All three are “rural” positions—meaning the candidates must live in Teton County, but outside of the Town of Jackson. Each board supervisor serves a four-year term. The other two positions will be on the ballot in November 2024. To run for election, indiviudals must submit a completed Application for Election for Teton Conservation District Supervisor to the Teton County Clerk’s Office (200 S Willow St., Jackson) between Aug. 10 and Aug. 29.
“Our mission is to work with the community in the conservation of natural resources for the health and benefit of people and the environment,” says Girard.
“Our focus is always on-the-ground programs—stream and drinking water well monitoring, wildlife and native habitat improvements, wildfire risk reduction, support for local agriculture—but streamlined administrative processes allow us to be a better partner and leverage our resources even further.”