Given the proliferation of services that help home buyers and sellers complete their own transaction, you may have considered whether you should go it yourself instead of working with an agent.
Appealing My Utah Property Taxes
Right around the end of July and beginning of August, you will receive your property tax statement in the mail.
Your property tax statement will come from the county or city assessor’s office. On this statement, you’ll see a property evaluation telling you the estimated value of your home. This is what the county thinks your home is worth, and you pay taxes based on this estimated value, so you want to be sure that it is correct.
Now, sometimes the county assessor overestimates your value. For example, let’s say that your home has been estimated at 300K, but you know that homes in your area have been selling for 250K. If this was the case, you’d want to dispute your property because otherwise, you’d be paying taxes on 50K worth of home equity that isn’t really there.
Appealing Property Taxes
Utah Property Taxes
Residential properties that are the primary residence of the homeowner in Utah receive a property tax exemption of 45%. That means only 55% of a home’s value is subject to taxation. That exemption keeps property taxes for most homeowners quite low. Utah’s average effective property tax rate is just 0.67%, 10th lowest in the country! Utah has to make their money somewhere so we have state income tax and sales tax.
How the Utah Property Tax Works
Property taxes in Utah are largely handled at the county level. The state sets certain guidelines and assists counties with administering the property tax, but counties are responsible for the appraisal of the property and the calculation of tax rates.
The first step in Utah’s property tax system is the valuation of the property. By state law, county assessors are required to physically inspect and appraise all property within their county at least once every five years. The purpose of this appraisal is to calculate the full market value. Between appraisals, that market value is adjusted based on sales data and other factors.
Residential property in Utah receives a 45% property tax exemption. Thus, if the market value of your home is $100,000, the taxable value is just $55,000. Your local tax rates apply to that taxable value.
Utah Property Tax Rates
There are more than 1,000 different property tax areas in Utah, each with a separate rate. These areas are a product of the fact that counties, cities, school districts, and water districts can all levy property taxes.
The total of the rate between all the applicable tax authorities is the rate that homeowners pay. Utah expressed tax rates as a percentage of taxable value.
When comparing between counties or states, it is useful to look at the effective rate. This is the amount paid annually as a percentage of home value. The table below shows median home value, median annual property taxes and the average effective tax rate for every county in Utah.
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