Property taxes in Utah are assessed either by the county where the property is located or by the Utah State Tax Commission. Property that is subject to taxation may be assessed by a County Assessor or by the Property Tax Division of the Utah State Tax Commission, depending on the nature of the property. Property is referred to as “locally assessed properties” which are assessed by the County Assessor of the county in which the property is located, and “centrally assessed properties”, which are assessed by the Property Tax Division of the Utah State Tax Commission. The valuation processes and appeals processes differ somewhat, depending on the type of property.
Locally assessed property is valued each year. For real property, each county has established a 5-year cyclical reappraisal schedule as required by statute. The counties also use computer-assisted mass appraisal systems to apply current market data to annual assessments.
Personal property is reported to the County Assessor by the property owner, lessee or lessor by annual self-assessment affidavit. Personal property assessments are derived from cost information or depreciation schedules. The county assessor mails the personal property statement forms in late January or early February. Property owners have 30 days to complete and return the forms. Thereafter, assessments are issued. The assessments are subject to appeal within 30 days.
Regarding centrally assessed property, the Property Tax Division of the Utah State Tax Commission is responsible for assessing mining properties and other properties that operate across county lines, such as utilities, mines, telecommunications or transportation companies. These assessments are based on self-reporting affidavits submitted by the property owners by March 1 of each year. Assessment notices are mailed by May 1 each year.
The owner of a centrally-assessed property has a right to file an appeal of the assessment by June 1. However, the affected counties also have an interest in the assessment and they may file an appeal. In fact, it is not unusual for both the taxpayer and the affected counties to file appeals on the same assessment. The cases are typically scheduled together.
By mid- to late-July, the parties (or their representatives) will meet with the assigned judge in a scheduling conference. At that time, the schedule for discovery or exchange of information will be set and the matter will be scheduled for further proceedings. In the meantime, the parties are encouraged to work toward settlement and, in fact, most of these cases are resolved through settlement negotiations without a hearing.
If you believe that your property is being over-valued by your county or by the Utah State Tax Commission contact Paul to discuss your options and for assistance in appealing the value. If you just have questions about the appeals process in general feel free to contact Paul. To contact Paul click here.