School district becomes 'recapture district'

Sweetwater County School District No. 2 is generating more than it is allotted in education funding, becoming one of the state’s few recapture districts.

Recapture districts are important to the state as the excess funds generated are spread to the other counties to help make education more equitable between districts. District officials announced the district’s status during the monthly board of trustees meeting last week.

According to Chris Dean, the district’s business manager, the district mineral production mill taxes are being generated at a “very healthy” rate. Statute changes last year resulted in mineral production taxes being paid monthly based on gross production. Dean said when the district calculated its initial estimates based on the county’s assessed valuation, the district would have been considered an entitlement district, which receives more money than it can generate through taxes. Under state status, she said the district would have received approximately $1.4 million.

However, with the new tax payment system and mineral taxes being received at higher amounts than expected, the district will earn more than what it is guaranteed by the state. Dean said the district isn’t alone in changing to a recapture district this year. Projections estimate the district will collect about $2.2 million more than its state guarantee.

This change represents the first year the district is classified as a recapture district.

“I was surprised by it,” Dean said. “We have been very close, but have never been a recapture district.”

The Wyoming Department of Education is giving the district a June 15 deadline to make the transition. The district has until March 31 to update its filings to account for revised income estimates. Dean said several districts are waiting until March to update their revenue projections.

“We’ll hopefully have the best projections we can have by that date,” Dean said.


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