Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

August 3, 2022
So you think the county made a mistake?

Assessment appeals and tax assistance 

For property owners that opened their recent property valuation and thought an error was made in their property value, there is a process to appeal property values, but not the taxes.

The county also offers programs that provide some property tax relief for disabled veterans, active military members, blind property owners and low income property owners.

The County Auditor, as the clerk to the County Board of Equalization, is the contact point for property owners appealing property values or seeking help from one of the assistance programs.

Directions and forms are located on the county auditor’s website. From tooeleco.org select “Your Government” and then “Auditor” under elected officials. Once on the Auditor’s page select “Board of Equalization’’ from the menu on the left side. And then click on the big blue button, “Appeal Online.”

Appeals may be made for the market value of property, not the tax dollar amount, shown on the annual notice of property value and tax changes.

The appeal must include evidence to support the appeal claim. Applications for appeal must be filed no later than 5 p.m. on Sept. 16. 2022. That’s a state law, not a local auditor’s rule. 

The County Auditor suggests a submission date of Aug. 1 to expedite the appeal.

The appeal needs to include a name, address and phone number; a copy of the valuation notice; the complete parcel number of the property being appealed; the property owners’ estimated opinion of the property value and how the property owners arrived at that value.

Evidence must be submitted to support the property owner’s estimated value. 

That evidence must include at least one of the following: At least three comparable properties similar to the appealed property that sold in the year 2021. This information is usually available through local real estate agents, or if the property was purchased in 2021 — a copy of the closing and/or settlement statement; “short sales,” “bank-owned,” or “foreclosure” sales are not necessarily indicative of a fair market sale but they will be considered. These sales must be supported by a valid appraisal report that banks require for such sales; an appraisal done on the property with an effective appraisal date within the year 2021; a written statement of what the property owner considers a factual error on the property. Property information is available on the property card in the Assessor’s Office.

The state offers a “circuit breaker” refund for renters and property owners.

Renters must have a household income of less than $34,666; have been a Utah resident for the entire year; and be at least 66 years of age or an unmarried surviving spouse. For Information and help on the renter refund circuit breaker, contact the Taxpayers Services Division of the Utah State Tax Commission at 1-800-662-4335 extension 6254.

There are also some tax assistance programs offered by the state that are administered by the county.

A circuit breaker for low income homeowners is available through an application with the County Auditor. To qualify, the homeowner must be the occupants of the home; total household income must be less than $34,366; have been a Utah resident for the entire year, and be at least 66 years of age or an unmarried surviving spouse. Applications must be submitted to the county by Sept. 1.

A veteran disability exemption is available to veterans disabled in military service, at least 10% disability, their unmarried surviving spouse or minor orphans. The exemption amount is up to $275,699 of taxable value of a residence, based on the percentage of disability incurred in the line of duty and on the unemployability classification. An application with proof of military service and proof of disability or death must be filed with the county where the eligible property is located.

An exemption is available to active or reserve members of the US Armed Forces on active duty outside the state 200 days in a continuous 365-day period beginning in the prior year. The exemption amount equals the total taxable value of the claimant’s primary residence.

To receive this exemption the property owner must apply on or before Sept. 1 of the year after the year of qualifying service and include with the application verifying military documentation including orders for qualifying active or reserve service. The property owner must apply for the exemption each year that they  are eligible.

A blind exemption is available to legally blind property owners, their unmarried surviving spouse, or their minor orphans. There are no income or age requirements. Up to $11,500 of the taxable value of real and tangible personal property may be exempt from property tax. The property owner must file the application by Sept. 1 with their county. The first year’s application must include an ophthalmologist signed statement.

According to state code, indigent abatement and deferrals are granted at the discretion of the County Council. The property owner must be the owner and occupant of the home or manufactured home. The property owner must be at least 65 years of age or demonstrate a disability or extreme hardship and have lived at the home for at least 10 months. The homeowner’s income must be less than $34,666. The abatement amount is for 50% of the total tax for the current year, or a maximum of $1,067, whichever is less. The application must be filed by Sept. 1 with proof of ownership, income, disability and/or hardship and other information required by the county.

The county may choose to defer any or all property taxes until property ownership changes. This means the county will continue to assess taxes but they will not need to be paid until the home is sold or ownership changes. There will be no delinquency penalty, but interest will accrue annually. If applying for a deferral, the property owner must also file a clearance statement from the mortgage holder. All applications must be filed with the county by Sept.1.

 

Tim Gillie

Editor at Tooele Transcript Bulletin
Tim has been writing for the Transcript Bulletin since October 2017. In February 2019 he was named as editor. In addition to being editor, Tim continues to write about Tooele County government, education, business, real estate, housing, politics and the state Legislature.A native of Washington state and a graduate of Central Washington University, Tim became a journalist after a 20 year career with the Boy Scouts of America.

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