Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

June 22, 2022
Tooele City wants higher than certified tax rate

Tooele City officials will not raise their tax rate during fiscal year 2022-2023, however their proposed higher than certified tax rate will take more money out of taxpayers pockets than the certified rate would have allowed.

The Tooele City Council voted during their June 15 meeting to approve the tax rate of 0.002763 for fiscal year 2022-2023 as part of their 2022-2023 budget, which runs from July 1 of this year to June 30, 2023.

By law, each city is required to adopt their property tax rate by June 22, according to Shannon Wimmer, Tooele City finance director.

The tax rate of 0.002763 is the same as fiscal year 2021-2022, but it is 37.5% higher than the certified tax rate of 0.002009 for Tooele City for 2023. That means, if adopted, under the 0.002763 tax rate, property owners will pay 35.7% more to Tooele City in 2023 than would have paid if the city adopts the certified tax rate.

The certified tax rate, part of the state’s  truth in taxation process, keys in on revenue collected by taxing entities. The certified tax rate is the rate calculated that will let the city collect the same amount of property tax as they did the previous year, plus additional revenue from new properties and development that weren’t on the tax rolls the previous year. 

Each year the county auditor determines the tax rate based on the county assessor’s determination of the fair market value of all property parcels in the county as of Jan. 1 of that year.  Certified rates are reviewed and approved by the Utah State Tax Commission.

Each year, the certified rate can go up or down, depending on the total taxable property value. However, usually property values go up, which means the property tax rate goes down.

Ideally, this means that the taxpayer pays approximately the same total amount of property tax each year as long as their individual piece of property increased or decreased in value at the same rate as the total assessed value of property in the county — if the certified rate is adopted.

The certified tax rate and the truth in taxation process prevent entities that collect property tax from collecting windfall revenue when property values soar high by lowering the tax rate. They also protect entities by letting them collect the same amount of revenue without holding hearings for a property tax increase when property values fall.

The certified tax rate may be adopted by the city without any special notices or public hearings other than those required to adopt a budget.

To adopt a property tax rate higher than the certified tax rate, the state requires the city to publicly post specific notices and hold a public hearing specifically for the increase.

Usually Tooele City receives approximately 20% of property tax payments from taxpayers in Tooele City, with the rest going to the school district and Tooele County, according to information from the city’s budget.

Utah law allows a 45% exemption in taxable value for a taxpayer’s primary residence, meaning that residential property taxes are calculated on 55% of the market value of the residence.

On a home with a market value of $319,000, Tooele City would receive property tax totaling $536.81 out of the $2,560 tax bill for the city’s 2022- 2023 fiscal year with the proposed higher than certified tax rate. 


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