What You Need to Know
You’ve likely seen a property tax valuation notice from the Salt Lake County Assessor in your mail recently. What does this document tell you and how are the values calculated?
First of all, CONGRATULATIONS! You’re one of the lucky ones who has owned a home over the past several years! You’ve reaped the benefits of gaining huge amounts of equity. Currently, the average sales price of a residential home in Salt Lake County has climbed to $632,000. As we’ve seen the market shift and prices rise, many home values have almost doubled in a short few years. Did you realize that, with that huge gain in market value, your property taxes would also increase significantly? The valuation notice explains these increases in your taxes.
For those of you located within the Salt Lake Valley, the value and property type of your home or business property is determined by the Salt Lake County Assessor. There are 23 Tax Entities (or Districts) that are proposing increases this year. Lucky for us, Utah ranks 12th for the lowest property tax in the country, according to Rocket Mortgage.
As a residential property owner, you typically receive a 45% deduction of your home’s value to determine the taxable value, which means you pay property taxes on 55% of your home’s value.
Are you wondering about the best way to determine your home’s true value? Are you interested in finding comparable values in your neighborhood or possibly think your valuation is incorrect?
As professional realtors we are here to assist you with knowing your home’s value whenever you want to know, not just when you’re buying or selling a home. Our team does this through a comparative market analysis, comparing homes recently sold which are similar in size, location, style, and varying other factors to find its true value in today’s competitive real estate market.
As a property owner you are able to view the assessed valuation from the assessor’s office for your home or any home in your neighborhood. Simply find your property using the Assessor’s “Search by Owner” function. Then, after selecting your property, click on the Neighborhood Values or Adjoining Values link.
After doing a little case study in my own neighborhood I was shocked to find homes that should have almost identical market value have assessed valuation discrepancies as large as $400-$600k differences by the County Assessor’s office. Even with a 45% deduction on taxable value, this leads me to believe many people are overpaying for the true value of their home.
So what are your options if you disagree with the value the county placed on your property? You will need to go ahead and file an appeal with the county. The process has four phases and will only be accepted until September 15th. Phase 1 is a screening process where documentation is submitted by the property owner. Next, during phase 2, the assessor reviews the documents submitted and makes a recommendation on whether the value should be adjusted or not. If the taxpayer does not agree and appeals the decision, the taxpayer presents its case to a hearing officer in phase 3. Last, phase 4, if needed the Utah State Tax Commission mediates disputes and makes a final decision.
Gathering the property documentation is imperative in determining the basis for the appeal. Applicants should follow the directions on the Salt Lake County Property Tax Appeals website. The appeals website lists five different bases for an appeal. One or more of these scenarios might be applicable. If you find yourself in need of using Basis Appeal C (sale values of properties comparable to mine within one year differ from County’s proposed value), please contact our Niche Team as your trusted real estate advisors.
As gas, groceries, and overall monthly living expenses have increased over the past year, home ownership can protect against inflation. A fixed rate mortgage allows you to maintain the biggest portion of your housing expenses at the same payment for 30 years. Sure, property taxes will rise and other expenses increase, but your monthly house payment remains the same. You can’t say the same for rent! If history has taught us anything, it’s that homeownership is one of the best ways to build wealth and secure your financial future.