Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

December 27, 2012
Top ten property taxpayers pay larger share in 2012

The top 10 property taxpayers in Tooele County footed 30 percent of all property taxes paid this year, up from the 25 percent they paid in 2011.

Collections from the top 10 property taxpayers in 2012 were up 36 percent, from $8.5 million in 2011 to $11.6 million in 2012. Overall collections for property tax climbed 11.6 percent from 2011 to 2012 in Tooele County.

Allegheny Technologies’ titanium plant in Rowley paid the largest amount of property tax with a $3.8 million tax bill. However, Allegheny Technologies also receives a tax refund as an incentive for locating in Tooele County. The tax rebate for 2012 has not been calculated. That will be done by county auditor Mike Jensen in February.

In 2011, Allegheny Technologies paid $3.5 million in property taxes but received $3.2 million back. The tax rebate for ATI expires in 2022.

The 2012 list of the top 10 taxpayers contains the same names as the 2011 list but some have moved up while others moved down.

Intrepid Potash’s Wendover operation, which extracts potash from naturally occurring brines by solar evaporation, jumped from number six in 2011 to take second place on the 2012 list. Intrepid paid $1.7 million, which is $1.1 million more than the company paid in 2011.

The assessed value of Intrepid Potash’s real property increased from $63.8 million in 2011 to $150 million in 2012 after completing capital investments in 2011 that included a new compaction and storage facility.

PacifiCorp, parent corporation of Rocky Mountain Power, was No. 2 on the 2011 list but dropped down one slot to No. 3 with $1.5 million in property taxes paid.

US Magnesium paid $947,107 in property taxes in 2012 and rose from eighth place in 2011 to No. 4 in 2012. US Magnesium’s total assessed value increased from $42.4 million in 2011 to $77.9 million in 2012. U.S. Magnesium’s assessed value went up as a result of an investment in modernization of equipment to increase magnesium and chlorine production, according to Tom Tripp, technical services director for US Magnesium.

Union Pacific Railroad was No. 5 on the 2012 list with $926,126 in property taxes paid to Tooele County. Union Pacific’s tax bill is determined by the company’s overall net worth. The federal government allots a portion of that net worth for Utah to tax. The Utah State Tax Commission then in turn divides that amount between each county according to the assets the company has in each county.

Union Pacific has two mainline routes through Tooele County: the Shafter subdivision, which is an old Western Pacific line that parallels I-80 from Salt Lake City to the Nevada border, and the Lynndyl subdivision, which is a north-south line that basically follows the same route as SR-36.

EnergySolutions ranked No. 6 with $796,939 in property taxes paid, and Walmart Distribution Center ranked No. 7 with $565,301 in property taxes.

American Realty Capital, owner of the Reckitt Benckiser distribution facility at Miller Motorsports Business Park came in at eighth place with $461,694 in property taxes paid. However, the company also received a tax rebate that has not been calculated. In 2011, American Realty Capital had 99 percent of its property tax payment refunded.

Depot Associates, owners of the Utah Industrial Depot, dropped from fourth place in 2011 to ninth place in 2012. They were the only company on the top 10 list that paid less taxes in 2012 than 2011.

The taxable value of Depot Associates’ property went down from $48.6 million in 2011 to $31.9 million as the result of settling an appeal of their assessed value in an agreement with the Utah State Tax Commission, Tooele County and Tooele City, according to Wendy Shubert, Tooele County assessor. As a result, Depot Associates tax bill declined by $164,668.

At the last spot on the top 10 list, in the same place as they were last year, is the Clean Harbors Aragonite facility, which paid $409,655 in property tax for 2012.

In 2008, the top 10 county property taxpayers paid $3.6 million, which was 11 percent of the total tax bill. The top 10 pay a larger percentage of the tax bill because new companies to the county have a larger assessed value than older companies — along with increased property values among companies already operating within the county — according to Jeremy Walker, Tooele County treasurer.

“It is evident that property values in the private sector have grown over the last four years,” said Walker.

Tim Gillie

Staff Writer at Tooele Transcript Bulletin
Tim covers education, Tooele City government, business, real estate, politics and the state Legislature. He became a journalist after a long career as an executive with the Boy Scouts of America. Tim is a native of Washington state and a graduate of Central Washington University.

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