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Like High Property Tax Rates? Move to Ogden

Utah’s highest combined property tax rates – which include tax rates for county, school district, city, and special service districts – are found in Ogden, according to the Utah Taxpayers Association’s analysis of Utah State Tax Commission’s 2006 Taxing Areas/Tax Rates report.

Utah has more than 1,000 taxing areas due to the numerous combinations of 29 counties, 40 school districts, 247 cities, and a couple hundred special service districts. Twenty-nine of these taxing areas are found in Ogden City, and all of these taxing areas have rates that are higher than any other taxing area rates in the state.

Of the 29 taxing areas in Ogden, twenty-four have a tax rate of 1.7813%. One tax area has a combined rate of 1.8141%. A typical taxpayer in Ogden is subject to the following property tax rates:

Weber County: 0.4063%
Ogden City School District: 0.8380%
Ogden City: 0.3905%
Weber Basin Water: 0.0178%
Central Weber Sewer: 0.0573%
Weber County Mosquito: 0.0106%
Weber 911: 0.0302%
Ogden City/Weber Water: 0.0306%
Total: 1.7813%

A typical taxing area in Utah has a property tax rate of about 1.2% in 2006. (The rate for 2006 is lower than in previous years due to a 17.3% increase in real and personal property valuation). Excluding Ogden tax areas, less than 2.0% of all Utah tax areas have tax rates exceeding 1.5%.

Why are property tax rates so high in Ogden?
Ogden City, Weber County, and Ogden School District all have tax rates that are higher than the statewide average for cities, counties, and school districts. On top of the high city and county tax rates, Weber County residents pay a lot of taxes to special service districts. A typical Ogden resident pays property taxes to five special service districts. A typical Utah County resident, on the other hand, not only pays lower county taxes but also pays property taxes to only one or two special service districts.

Another factor contributing to high tax rates has been Ogden City's habit of using RDAs to subsidize retail and other locally-driven economic activity like office parks. Ogden is one of the few cities in Utah that has diverted more than 10% of its property tax base to RDAs and EDAs.

Compared to the state average, RDA-adjusted property valuations per student are about 19% lower in Ogden School District, and property valuations per capita are about 31% lower in Weber County which means tax rates would tend to be higher in Ogden. However, Ogden City and Ogden School District are not experiencing the population and enrollment growth rates that other parts of the state are experiencing. Population and enrollment growth usually lead to higher tax rates because of the need for local governments, especially school districts, to issue bonds to cover the costs of building new facilities.

I guess this would be bearable if local government services in Ogden, OSD, and Weber County were significantly better than everyone else's.

The average for Salt Lake County for 2006 is 1.31% and the median is 1.33%, with the high 1.59% and the low 1.09%.

Sean Thomas
Salt Lake County Auditor


Thanks for the info. The 2006 effective average for Salt Lake County -- which is the sum of all property taxes unadjusted for RDA diversions divided by total valuation -- is 1.32%.


This is such a bogus article. When you don't have a TAX BASE (ever heard of that Utah TAXPAYER association) of course you are going to have to have other ways to produce revenue. Been to Ogden lately? Didn't think so. Neither has anybody else. That is the problem. Pretty much all stores in Riverdale, Layton, or Harrisville and a doughnut around downtown Ogden. I'd like to hear your practical solution on how Ogden should have done things to improve. And don't give me that argument that the market eventually fixes itself. Ogden has had nearly 30 years for the market to even itself out and never did it. Thank goodness for people who aren't so one-issue minded to be able to see what had to happen in Ogden. The Junction will improve things here.

I am happy to pay high taxes if it means that my city becomes a better place where my children aren't afraid to go to school, downtown, or simply down the street. It's pretty easy to point the finger when you are Sandy, Day Break, Herriman, or West Jordan. Come on up here, live for a while, then tell us what it is really like and then how you would improve things.

Facts are stubborn things, and the facts show that your Ogden-has-no-tax-base argument is not supported by the facts.

Ogden's property tax base per capita is about 32% lower than the state average, but Ogden's sales tax revenue per capita (FY2005) was $153, which is higher than the state average of $148 and just slightly lower than the average ($155) for Utah's 30 largest cities.

Several Utah cities have per capita property tax bases and sales tax revenues equal to or lower than Ogden's, including Provo, Taylorsville, Logan, Roy, and many, many other cities.

Many of Ogden's problems are self-inflicted as evidenced by the endless cycle of RDAs that the city has created over the years.

Of course, we all know that statistics are ALWAYS correct and are never in any way misleading depending on what the presentor is trying to get across. Statistics are one thing, practicality and reality are another. Not that I am in favor of taxes, but Ogden is in a pretty unique situation for this area and state. Being the main city in the Top of Utah leads Ogden to require more tax revenue than most cities; probably nearly all other cities in the state. Again- solutions speak a whole lot louder than statistics- so let's hear 'em.

Have you read http://www.ogden-valley.blogspot.com/ or Huntsvilletown.com? We are resisting what happened to Ketchum, ID, Jackson, WY and Summit Co.- Park City, UT. Some like to think it is inevitable but we permanent residents like to think of ourselves as stewards of our beautiful Valley and choose to fight for proposition 13 protection. "Truth in Taxation" is dead in Utah having been denuded by legislation re 06 tax legislation summary, SB 221 etc. We are gaining ground toward a Class Action lawsuit against Weber County Commissioners and Assessor Madson to put a temporary stop order on their tax rape of our Valley. Huntsville Town, for example, has an average residential property tax assessed value increase of 116% over last years' 80% increase, and our taxes average a 91% increase. No "Truth in Taxation" meeting, no Utah State Tax Commission oversight of out of control Weber County tax assessors and outrageous Commissioners. No responsive action by the County after two successful petition drives asking politely for sanity and relief, and an overwhelming crowd of outraged Valley residents at the Junior High gym. What say you Utah Taxpayer? Still suppport and defend "Truth in Taxation"? Still - when so much has happened within your two year data and statistical deadzone? Please, we need more than excuses for crazy people tryng to tax us out of our own homes up here. And I get the feeling Davis, Utah, and Salt Lake Counties are under tax siege also. HELP! We are dying...Any one out there wanting to network and organize toward a peaceful march on the Governor's mansion until he calls for a special session of the legislature to enact Propositon 13 homeowner protection contact me dkbell266@yahoo.com . And Utah Taxpayer organization, again I thank you for all you do and hope you are among the first to send and email.

Could you elaborate on how SB221 specifically has caused higher property taxes?

If you can demonstrate that your evaluations are too high, we'd love to see the data and help out anyway we can. Send data to mike at utahtaxpayers dot org.

Moving to Prop 13 and away from fair market value has serious downsides, including serious inequities for new home buyers which are frequently young families. The burden is also passed on to new businesses.

Also, when large numbers of property owners are mostly insulated from large tax increases, they become less concerned about how their government spends their money because others (new property owners) will face the brunt of the increases. As a result, more and larger bonds are passed.

Finally, Utah's property tax burden as a percent of income is nearly the same as California's.

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