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Explaining your property taxes

If you own property in Utah, you have most likely received a "notice of property valuation and tax change" from your county. Nearly everyone's property has increased dramatically. (Don't get too giddy about that because the value of your next house has increased by about the same percentage.)

In the next two weeks, we will be discussing property taxes with emphasis on Truth-in-Taxation. The Utah Taxpayers Association lobbied very aggressively for Truth-in-Taxation in the 1980s and continues to defend it every year.

This six-part series will cover the following:

1. How does Truth-in-Taxation work?
2. Why did my property taxes go up (or down)?
3. What have been the results of Truth-in-Taxation?
4. Does Truth-in-Taxation hurt local governements?
5. What impact do centrally assessed properties have on tax rates?
6. Does Utah need a Prop 13?

The stated value of my home and yard (and thus my property taxes) increased by about 60% this year. I suppose I'm okay with that, because I think I could still sell the home for a lot more than the government thinks it's worth.

But what happens when the housing boom boes bust? Is the government as willing to state a lower property value when the value (average asking/selling price) goes down as they are to state a higher value when it goes up?

Frank,

If the county assessor is not willing to reduce your valuation due to market conditions, you can always appeal.

Regarding your 60% increase, is that because your property had not been reassessed in a couple of years? Some counties are better at avoiding massive valuation increases by reassessing more frequently than others. If the 60% increase is due to lack of recent reassessment, that would mean that you were paying less than market value in previous years.

Ivory Towers.. Weber County has been allowed to buse the Ogden Valley and Ogden for the last time. We are ready for Proposition 13 legislation NOW! It is past due.

116% increase in assessed property taxable values for the Town of Huntsville and 91% Tax increase. Some have an 803% increase in assessed value just becasue they built a very humble two car garage on a vacant lot (697% tax increase). YGBSM! We in the Ogden Valley are outraged and after this same treatment last year ready to march on the Governor's Mansion demanding Prop 13 legal protection from avrice and greed of bottomless proportions within this State and expecially Weber County. Come on up to the Wed "Informational Meeting" @ six oclock til nine. Snowcrest Jr. High is the only place that come close to holding the masses of outraged citizens. So don't tell us about how great TNT is. There isn't any. You can obfuscate and attempt to plaudit TNT all you want but the facts say it is not working at a practical level. Ready to join us or do you prefer to remain "Stepford Citizens" taking whatever is dealt out by the legislature?

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In Part 3, we've demonstrated that TNT has worked very well. The statistical evidence is irrefutable.

In a later post, we'll compare Utah's property taxes with California's, and you'll see that California's situation is no better than Utah's, despite Prop 13.

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