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Sorry, you won’t be getting a pandemic property tax break

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SALT LAKE CITY— Regardless of whether your business or home has been financially leveled by the pandemic, your property tax won’t see a drop in 2020. That’s not to say the pandemic hasn’t made some Utahans’ properties worth less (or in some cases more).  It’s just that the taxes were computed January 1st, 3 months before the virus hit.  Meaning your bill won’t reflect the impact.

Joshua Nielsen, Assistant Director for Property Taxes with the Utah State Tax Commission, says most people will be getting their property tax bills on July 22. “And [people] they are gonna see that [valuation], and not understand that that was the value as of January 1st and think it’s the value as of [right now]… that could be quite a shock to some people.” 

The tax commission is worried that those who feel their property is overvalued, although mistakenly, will fight it.  And that this will strain the UTC, already struggling with depleted resources due to COVID 19. “There is a growing concern among elected officials in the counties, that the number of appeals will go up this year and that it will put a huge burden on the counties and their processes.  Which is understandable.”

In a media release from the Tax Commission, they say “if you choose to appeal the value of your property in 2020, the local board of equalization should consider and weigh all evidence that may be presented. This evidence should reflect what was known or knowable as of the lien date January 1, 2020. ”  So… what about next year?

Nielsen says there is no guarantee that if your property value is undercut NOW, that you’ll see that in NEXT years tax bill.  Because that will be tabulated… January 1st, again. “Will the economy recover? What will the market look like?  We have assumptions and opinions, but until that happens we don’t know.”  

He adds that for those that are having real financial hardship paying their taxes, there are programs that you can apply through your county for Tax Relief, Abatement, and Referral.