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Kyle Shields
Treasurer
[email protected]

Ingrid Swenson
Business Manager
[email protected]
435.249.0489

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Property Tax

Property Taxes are one of the most complex and often misunderstood taxes that the government levies.

How Does Property Tax Work?

The property tax system in Utah is a revenue-driven system, not a rate-driven system. Generally, as valuations of existing property increase, property tax rates decrease. This automatic reduction in property tax rates prevents local governments from getting a windfall simply because valuations have increased.

The reduced property tax rate is known as the certified tax rate (CTR). This rate is then applied to all property, including “new growth.” While local governments receive increased revenues due to new growth, the tax rates include no automatic adjustment for inflation, which is by design.

Why did my property taxes increase so much this year?

Generally, when property valuations increase, property tax rates decrease to maintain revenue neutrality (excluding new growth). This revenue-neutral rate is called the certified tax rate. This rate is then applied to all properties, including new residential and commercial developments.
Increased valuations due to new developments/construction do not reduce the property tax rate.
Despite the ratcheting down of property tax rates as valuations of existing properties increase, sometimes property owners see a higher property tax bill. Sometimes, property owners see a decrease. There are several reasons why.

Property valuations increase faster in one area than in others.
If a given property’s valuation increases faster than the average property in a given tax entity, that property owner may experience an increase in their property taxes. Property valuations can increase faster in some areas than in other areas for two reasons.
First, every property is required to be reviewed in detail at least once every five years. As a result, properties that were recently reviewed by the county will typically experience larger valuation increases than properties that were not reviewed recently. Second, real estate market demand may push up the value of some properties faster than others.
Properties that increased faster than the county (and/or school district/city/special service district) average will experience an increase in property taxes while others will experience a decrease. In the end, it all works out because other parts of the county and school district will be reviewed in detail in following years and their taxes will increase while everyone else’s
decreases. Properties that experience a large increase due to a review may have been undervalued in previous years.

Local government raises taxes

The property tax process does not prevent local governments from raising taxes. Once the certified tax rate has been calculated by the Utah State Tax Commission, local governments have the option of exceeding the certified tax rate. When local governments decide to exceed the certified tax rate, they must go through a tax increase process that includes notification and public hearings, this is commonly known as the Truth-in-Taxation process.
Certified tax rates do not include adjustments for inflation. Therefore, local governments occasionally increase property tax rates to recoup inflationary losses or to increase services.
Sometimes, the proposed increases do more than offset inflation, sometimes less. To understand how an entity spends your taxes or why an entity has gone through the tax increase process, please participate and get involved in their budget public hearings.

If you are wanting more information about property taxes, don’t hesitate to call us at the Agency. We are here to help.

FAQ

2024 TAX RATE INCREASE PROPOSAL

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

Why did you buy new bathrooms if you do not have the funds to maintain the ones in the parks?

  • The bathrooms purchased and delivered last month were paid with the Impact fees fund. An impact fee is a one-time charge imposed by local governments to mitigate the impact on local infrastructure caused by new development. Growth in the form of new homes and businesses requires expansion or enlargement of public facilities to maintain the same level and quality of public services for all residents of a community. Impact fees help fund the expansion of public facilities necessary to accommodate new growth. The funds collected by impact fees may only be used on the facilities associated with that fee. For example, a road impact fee must be spent on road construction, and a park impact fee must be spent on parks, etc.

Will my taxes go up this year?

  • No, the tax rate increase would be effective for 2024, and the payment would become due in November 2024.

Why do you need a boost in the operating budget?

  • Our facilities and parks have not been properly maintained for a long time due to a lack of funds. Here are a few pictures depicting the sad state of our parks and facilities (it could be different photos to post.) You can also view more images here.

Why do you need to increase my taxes by 104%?

  • The two districts have not raised taxes to any extent in 10 years. In the meantime, as more and more residents have come into the park, the agency is responsible for more and more areas, and costs have risen. This has led to a situation where there are not enough funds to care for the park properly. Both boards felt this increase appropriate and decided to move to that rate independently.

Why are there two tax raises listed on my mailer? Will I have two tax increases?

  • Yes, both districts voted to raise taxes by that amount.

What is the relationship between the Greenbelt Service District, The Recreation Service District, and the Service Agency?

  • The two districts were formed in 1982 to care for assets orphaned by the Terracor/Leucadia bankruptcy. These two boards act independently to set tax rates and agree to let new developments into the respective agencies. Since there was a significant amount of overlap in the execution of these funds, a 1992 interlocal agreement formed the Service Agency to execute the operations and development of the areas.

Why is my increase, i.e., $200/month?

  • No, it will increase by $200 per year per district or $400 total per year starting in December 2024.

Aren’t new homes automatically accounted for in the taxation process?

  • Under the current procedures, tax revenue is basically held at the same level unless the taxing entity goes through the truth in taxation process to increase tax revenue.

Why don’t you gradually raise taxes over 4-5 years?

  • The boards looked at that option. The problem is that money applied in the current year is more effective than money applied 4-5 years later because of cost growth. Because we haven’t raised taxes in 10 years, we currently see 10 years of increased costs. If we delay another 4-5 years, we incur another 4-5 years of decreased value of the money collected. An example is if the pool had been replaced 5 years ago, the cost would have been $1M. Today, that cost may be as high as $3M. Delaying the increase reduces the effectiveness of the funding. Additionally, the deterioration of the assets will continue because of the inability to repair them.

Why can’t we properly budget so we don’t have to pay more taxes?

  • A budget is a realistic look at how much money is available to be spent by an organization and a projection of what is needed in the future to accomplish the required work. You cannot budget yourself out of a deficit funds position. You can only decide where to spend available funds best and what requirements cannot be met. The decision to raise taxes was based on an accurate budget and a realistic look at the condition of the park.

Why don’t you sell properties (greenbelts)?

    • The greenbelts included in the bankruptcy cannot be sold until 2031. We are looking at other options.

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