Truth in Taxation

Because government agencies are tasked with managing precious tax dollars, they are required by state law to follow a process called “Truth in Taxation.” Truth in Taxation is about transparency, and requires government agencies to notify property owners when property taxes increase.

When the amount of tax money a government agency collects remains the same from year to year, that agency is not required to notify the public. But if taxes are raised in order to collect more money than the previous year – or when taxes are raised to make up for revenue fluctuations – government agencies must hold a public hearing where residents can weigh-in.

This year, the City plans to issue a judgment levy, which is a way for the City to make up for a shortage in property tax it had planned to collect. Basically, the City planned to collect $82 million, but came up more than $600,000 short due to some property owners contesting the amount they were required to pay. In response, the County granted them a tax decrease and this resulted in less money to the City. In order to recover that money, the City will issue a judgment levy. The levy will mean a slight increase to taxes for all property tax payers, yet the revenue the City collects will remain essentially the same as last year.

Property Tax Bill Concerns:

The Salt Lake City budget is based on the amount the City will receive in property tax revenue. Comments by residents about property tax revenues and the tax rate, etc. can be made to the Council by attending the Truth in Taxation hearing on Tuesday, August 8, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. You can also send your comments to the Council by email or phone calls.

If you have concerns specifically about property value, please contact the Salt Lake County Assessor’s Office at 385-468-8000. It is possible for the property tax bills to increase without any action taken by the City – the County Assessor’s office establishes a value for the property and that affects the total tax due. Property tax increases that are based upon the value of one’s home could also be the result of actions taken by the School District, Mosquito Abatement District, etc.

To file a tax appeal and other related information, please visit the County’s Council-Tax Administration’s website.

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