UtahCounty.gov

The Official Website of Utah County Government

Utah County Clerk/Auditor

Bryan E. Thompson

Utah County Auditor
Utah County Clerk/Auditor Frequently Asked Questions

Voter Registration

 

May Tax Sale

 

Property Taxes

 

Valuation Notices

 
 

VOTER REGISTRATION

How do I obtain information about voter registration online?

 
 
Click on the following link for more information about voter registration.

http://www.utahcounty.gov/Dept/ClerkAud/Elections/VoterRegistration.html 
 

   


PROPERTY TAXES
 

What is the difference between Value and Taxes?

 
  The value of your property is established, for the purpose of taxation, by the County Assessor. By statute, the County Assessor is required to establish a “Fair Market Value” of your property as of January 1 each year.   
 
  Property values as determined by the Utah County Assessor are subject to appeal through the Board of Equalization. The amount of property tax that is assessed on each property is not subject to appeal.   
 
  Property taxes are determined through a fractional percentage of the property’s fair market value. The property tax fractional percentage or “rate” is the result of an annual calculation done by the Utah State Tax Commission. This rate is often referred to as the Certified Tax Rate.   
 

What is the Certified Tax Rate and how is it calculated?

 
  The Certified Tax Rate is fractional percentage that is calculated every year by the Utah State Tax Commission. It is based on the value of property located within a taxing entity (city, school district, etc.) and the requirements of that entity's budget. Using a series of calculations, the Tax Commission sets a fractional percentage or “rate” that generates the same amount of property tax revenue for a particular taxing entity this year as it received the year before. “Certified” means that the tax rate is calculated to provide roughly the same amount of taxes every year.   
 
  Taxing entities are only able to increase the amount of property taxes they can collect in two ways. They can gain additional property tax through new growth (new businesses, new housing developments, etc.) or by adopting a tax rate higher than the calculated Certified Tax Rate. When a taxing entity adopts a rate higher than the calculated rate, that entity is required to go through a Truth-in-Taxation process. This means that the entity cannot finalize their tax rate or their budget until a public hearing is advertised and held according to the guidelines stated in Utah State Code 59-2-918.5 and 59-2-919.    
 

How are my Property Taxes calculated?

 
  The amount of taxes due from a property owner is a simple calculation of the taxable value of a property multiplied by the tax rate. For example, let’s say a property owner owns a home and a business in the same city. The total overall tax rate in this city is .012314. In this example, the market value for both the home and the business has been set at $200,000. For the home the taxable value would $200,000 x .55 (primary residential exemption) = $110,000. For the business, the taxable value would be the same as the market value or $200,000. For the home, the property owner’s taxes would be $110,000 x .012314 = $1354.54. For the business, the property owner’s taxes would be $200,000 x .012314 = $2,462.80.   
 
  Since the rate is re-calculated every year, it can go up or down matching the fluctuation of property values. In general, when overall property values go up, the calculated rate will go down. When property values go down, the tax rate will go up. The tax rate floats up or down so that, in general, a property owner would be paying about the same amount of taxes each year regardless of what their property value is.   
 
  However, other factors, such as zoning, taxing entity bonds, or property improvements, can influence the total amount of tax a property owner will pay. The Certified Tax Rate is calculated based on sum total of all of the property values located within a taxing entity. Individual property owners may see the total tax they pay go up or down from the previous year’s taxes based on their property’s unique circumstances.   
 

If I don’t agree with how much I am going pay in taxes, what can I do?

 
  First, and most importantly, property owners cannot appeal the amount of taxes that are charged against the property. Tax rates are established by statute through the Certified Tax Rate process. Property owners upset with the amount of taxes they are paying are encouraged to connect with their local school boards, city councils, etc. and express those concerns directly.   
 
  However, property values that are assessed by the County Assessor can be appealed. Since taxes are a simple calculation of the property value multiplied by the tax rate, a property owner that successfully gets their property value lowered through the Board of Equalization, would see a reduction in their total amount of property taxes.   
 
  If a property owner finds factual errors in the county record for their property or a mistake in the market value of the county assessment, that property owner has the right to appeal the valuation assessment with the Board of Equalization. The typical residential property owner could see a reduction between $8 to $10 in taxes for every $1,000 that the market value is reduced. The typical business owner could see a reduction in taxes between $12 to $14 for every $1,000 that the market value is reduced.    
 

How do I file an appeal?

 
  For more information about filing an appeal, click on the link below.

http://www.utahcounty.gov/Dept/ClerkAud/Equalization.html   
 

What is the process when I file a valuation appeal?

 
  STAGE 1: REVIEW BY THE COUNTY ASSESSOR   
 
  When a property owner files an appeal application with the Utah County Clerk/Auditor, it is checked to ensure that the correct documentation has been included. If not, the application is returned to the property owner with a notice of dismissal unless the correct documentation is returned by the specified date. If the application is complete it is then forwarded onto the County Assessor for review. One of the real estate appraisers in the County Assessor’s office will review the application and supporting documentation and will do one of the following:   
 
  1. Accepts the property owner’s opinion of market value and issues a stipulation agreement. If the property owner signs the agreement and returns it to the County Clerk/Auditor before the date indicated, the appeal is closed.   
 
  2. Rejects the property owner’s opinion of market value, but, based the information provided, establishes a new market value and issues a stipulation agreement. If the property owner signs the agreement and returns it to the County Clerk/Auditor before the date indicated, the appeal is closed.   
 
  3. Rejects the property owner’s opinion of value and makes a recommendation to keep the current established market value. The appeal is then released from review and is automatically scheduled for a hearing with an independent hearing officer.   
 
  STAGE 2: APPEAL HEARING   
 
  If the property owner does not return a signed stipulation agreement by the date indicated or if the County Assessor's office recommends keeping the established market value, the appeal will be automatically scheduled for an appeal hearing. The County Clerk/Auditor hires independent 3rd party real estate appraisers or real estate professionals as Hearing Officers.

In a valuation appeal hearing, the Hearing Officer will allow both the county and the property owner to present their documentation to support their opinion of value. Hearing officers will also typically ask questions of both the county and the property owner allowing them to defend their respective positions. After hearing from both sides, the Hearing Officer will make a recommendation to the Board of Equalization (BOE) in one of the following ways:   
 
  1. Agree with either the County Assessor or the property owner and recommend that the BOE accept that party’s opinion of value as the correct Fair Market Value.   
 
  2. Agree with neither the County Assessor nor the property owner and recommend a value that may be higher or lower than the value established by the County Assessor.   
 
  STAGE 3: APPROVAL OF RECOMMENDATION OF THE HEARING OFFICER BY THE COUNTY BOARD OF EQUALIZATION   
 
  After a hearing, the recommendation of the Hearing Officer is brought before the Board of Equalization (BOE) for approval or rejection. These recommendations are generally approved by the BOE, unless a member of the Board has reason to question the Hearing Officer’s findings. The Board has the right to reject the recommendation of the Hearing Officer and schedule a hearing before the BOE if they feel it is warranted. Otherwise, the recommendation is accepted and the County Assessor will make any required changes to the property’s value.   
 

What happens if I disagree with the Board's Decision?

 
  Any property owner dissatisfied with the Board's decision, has additional appeal rights. The next level of appeal is before the Utah State Tax Commission. If the property owner is dissatisfied with the State Tax Commission's decision, they can take their appeal to court.   
 

How do I file an appeal with the State Tax Commission?

 
  A property owner who decides to file an appeal with the Tax Commission, must do so within 30 days of the date of the Board of Equalization decision. They must file their appeal in writing with the Utah County Clerk/Auditor. The Board of Equalization clerk in the Clerk/Auditor's office will complete the appeal forms on behalf of the property owner and transmit the appeal to the Utah State Tax Commission. Once received by the Tax Commission, the appeal will be scheduled for mediation or a hearing.   
 
  THE APPEAL PROCESS AT THE TAX COMMISSION   
 
  A property owner's appeal to the Tax Commission will be set either for a mediation conference or an initial hearing. These processes are attempts to resolve the appeal without a formal hearing. Property owners have the right to waive these processes and go directly to a formal hearing.   
 
  THE MEDIATION PROCESS   
 
  The Tax Commission's experience shows that property tax appeals can be resolved through mediation about 89 percent of the time. Mediation is a voluntary process in which the property owner and the County's representative will work toward a mutual assessment of the evidence to find a solution. The mediator is there to facilitate discussion, not to impose a decision. If the involved parties are unable to reach a resolution, the mediation will be terminated and the appeal will be set for a formal hearing.   
 
  THE INITIAL HEARING   
 
  Property owners that do not wish to participate in mediation, will have their appeals scheduled for an initial hearing. However, owners may waive the initial hearing and proceed directly to a formal hearing, if all parties agree.   
 
  The initial hearing is an informal process in which the property owner and the county's representative will each present evidence to a judge. The judge will weigh the evidence and write a decision. Property owners dissatisfied with the decision, may request a formal hearing. The request must be made in writing within 30 days of the date of the decision.   
 
  THE FORMAL HEARING   
 
  A formal hearing is a recorded process where testimony and evidence is presented in a formal and legal manner. Each party will have an opportunity to cross-examine the other and any other witnesses. The hearing is conducted by a judge, and a written decision will be issued. Property owners dissatisfied with the Tax Commission's decision, may take their appeal to the District Court or the Utah Supreme Court.   
 

When are taxes due?

 
  November 30 or the first day of business after November 30 if the 30th falls on a Saturday or Sunday.

Taxes will be due and payable as noted on the Tax Notice mailed no later than November 1. Property owners who have filed a valuation appeal and have not received a decision by the November 30 due date should pay their property taxes as billed. Failure to pay when due will result in a penalty and the accrual of interest.    
 

What other things should I keep in mind?

 
  1. Deadlines and schedules are important. Property owners who miss a deadline or fail to appear as scheduled at a hearing proceeding, may lose their rights to pursue your appeal.   
 
  2. A current appeal, if successful, may not carry forward and apply to the coming year. Market factors, independent of the evidence submitted with an appeal, may affect a property's value in future years. Property owners are reminded not to rely on the decision in a current year appeal to carry forward to the next year. Property owners must file an appeal each year they receive a valuation notice containing a Fair Market Value that they do not agree with.   
 
  3. For questions about the County Board of Equalization, phone 801-851-8227.   
 
  4. For questions about an appeal with the Utah State Tax Commission, contact the Tax Commission Appeals Unit at 801-297-2280 or 801-297-2281.

Utah State Tax Commission Appeals Unit   
 

MAY TAX SALE

Where can I find information on the May Tax Sale?

 
  Please visit http://www.utahcounty.gov/TaxSale/ for May Tax Sale Information. 
 

VALUATION NOTICES

What is a Notice of Property Valuation and Tax Changes?

 
  State law requires the county to send out no later than July 22 annually a "Notice of Property Valuation and Tax Changes". This notice includes an estimate of a property owner's property taxes based on the combined total proposed tax rate established by local taxing entities. The following two items are detailed on the notice: 
 
  1. THE APPRAISED MARKET VALUE OF THE SUBJECT PROPERTY. This value may increase, decrease, or stay the same over the previous year. 
 
  2. LAST YEAR'S TAXES, THIS YEAR'S TAXES WITH NO BUDGET CHANGE, AND THIS YEAR'S TAXES WITH THE PROPOSED BUDGET CHANGE. If a taxing entity is intending to adopt a budget that includes an increase in the tax rate, state law requires that notification be given in advance of the proposed tax increase. That notice must include the time and location of the Truth-in-Taxation meeting at which the increase will be discussed and public input will be received. 
 

Should I pay the amount shown on the notice?

 
  This notice is a property valuation and tax change, and not a tax bill. Do not pay any amounts shown on this notice.  
 
  For property owners concerned about their ability to pay their taxes, there are several tax abatement programs available to qualified individuals. Click on the link below for more info.

http://www.utahcounty.gov/Dept/ClerkAud/Abatements.html 
 

How are my property taxes determined?

 
  See Property Taxes FAQ section above. 
 

What are the "current" and "proposed" property taxes as shown on the Notice of Property Valuation and Tax Changes?

 
  TAX LAST YEAR: The amount of tax charged last year. The actual tax paid may be less if an tax credit or abatement was applied. Personal property or motor vehicle taxes are not included. 
 
  TAX THIS YEAR IF NO BUDGET CHANGE: Tax charged if property tax revenues are not increased. These amounts do not reflect reductions for tax credits or abatements. Personal property or motor vehicle taxes are not included. 
 
  TAX THIS YEAR IF PROPOSED BUDGET IS PASSED: Tax charged if a taxing entity adopts the changes to their budget/tax rate as listed on the notice. These amounts do not reflect reduction for tax credits or abatements. Personal property or motor vehicle taxes are not included.