|Wyoming Wiki Topics|
|Local Research Resources|
Online Resources[edit | edit source]
- 1862-1918 - U.S. IRS Tax Assessment Lists, 1862-1918 Ancestery - (Free/$); Includes annual, monthly and special assessment lists.
Why Use Tax Records[edit | edit source]
By studying several consecutive years of tax records you may determine when a young men came of age, when individuals moved in and out of a home, or when they died leaving heirs. Authorities determined wealth (real estate, or income) to be taxed. Taxes can be for polls, real and personal estate, or schools.
Tax record content varies and may include the name and residence of the taxpayer, description of the real estate, name of original purchaser, description of personal property, number of males over 21, number of school children, slaves, and farm animals. Tax records usually are arranged by date and locality and are not normally indexed. Tax records can be used in place of missing land and census records to locate a person’s residence.
How to Use Tax Records for Wyoming[edit | edit source]
County Level[edit | edit source]
The county assessor and treasurer use their own discretion as to whether their records are sent to the state archives. Wyoming county tax records may be arranged chronologically and then alphabetically by school district. These records include assessment rolls, inventory, and appraisement of personal and real property for tax purposes. The total amount of tax is then apportioned under the various county and state taxes. Tables list name and address, legal description of the real property, value of real and personal property, amount owed for specific taxes, and date paid. 
State Level[edit | edit source]
The Wyoming State Archives does have some copies of the county tax and assessment records but not have all of them. In order to check the records on file at the Wyoming State Archives, the researcher must know the county (or general area) and the years that the ancestor resided in Wyoming. If tax records are not at the archives, they are likely still at the local courthouses. 
Wyoming State Archives
2301 Central Avenue
Cheyenne, WY 82002
County records are listed by office of origin. Choose the Office Title for the desired county to view the type of record, years covered, and a description of the records available. Tax records can be found in the County Assessor and County Treasurer offices. Instructions on how to obtain copies of the records are found by choosing the Get A Copy link.
Tax Laws[edit | edit source]
Abraham Lincoln instituted the income tax in 1862, and on July 1, 1862, Congress passed the Internal Revenue Act, creating the Bureau of Internal Revenue (later renamed to the Internal Revenue Service). This act was intended to “provide Internal Revenue to support the Government and to pay interest on the Public Debt.” Instituted in the height of the Civil War, the “Public Debt” at the time primarily consisted of war expenses. For the Southern States that were part of the Confederate side of the Civil War, once Union troops took over parts of the Southern States, income tax were instituted on them. 
What history has shown us is that while property taxes are locally levied, there is significant state involvement with the amount of tax local political subdivisions can levy, how property assessments are conducted, and what services local taxing subdivisions must provide for their residents. This comes at a cost to state taxpayers, because the state has obligations it must fund as well, with a limited amount of state tax dollars.
References[edit | edit source]