The Utah Constitution, Article XIII, Section 2, requires "All tangible property in the State, not exempt under the laws of the United States, or under this Constitution, shall be taxed at a uniform and equal rate in proportion to its value, to be ascertained as provided by law."
Title 59, Chapter 2 of the Utah Code is the Property Tax Act, which contains all provisions for levying and collecting taxes on both personal and real property. Provisions of 59-2 also cover appeals (59-2-1001 et seq), exemptions, deferrals and abatements (59- 2-1101 through 59-2-1220), collection of taxes (59-2-1301 et seq), delinquencies (59-2- 1331 through 59-2-1334), and sales of property for delinquent taxes (59-2-1343 through 59-2-1364).VALUATION PREMISE
Two principles guide the valuation for the establishment of Real Estate taxation. The basis for establishing
taxes on Real Property is "Market Value" Market value (See definition). The second premise is "Equity" where each property is valued on a
consistent basis from one property to the next in a neighborhood.
Market value is the standard by which each of the homes is to be measured. Equity is to insure that each of the properties is fairly valued in relationship to each other. Equitable valuation is to insure that one party does not receive favorable valuation in relationship to another.
While market value is the standard that the assessor uses, taxable value is a function of market value. The tax rate is applied against
the "taxable value". In Utah there are two basic classifications for residential properties Primary and Non Primary residences. Primary
residents are those residential properties that are the primary residence as opposed to a non primary residence which is generally
classified as second or recreational home. To qualify primary residence the property needs to be occupied for over 185 days per
calendar year. Residential investment properties may qualify as primary residence if the properties are used as a primary dwelling by the tenant.
Taxable value for a primary residence may quality for a discount of 45% from the market value. This classification can have a huge impact on the taxes paid.
Check to make sure that your property is properly classified. Documents are available on line or at the county assessor's
office to change the status. Some documentation will be required to prove residency.
Note that only the first acre of land for homes on a larger than one acre parcel will qualify for primary residences status.
Many of the appraiser's at Morley & McConkie LC have served as hearing officers for Washington County Assessor's office with extensive experience on both sides of the table in both representing the County Commission as hearing officers as well as representing tax payers for tax issues. We would be pleased to advise you as to the best course of action in dealing with real estate taxation needs.
The following links will provide additional information from both the State Tax Commission as well as links to several of the counties in the state.