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%
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.