Coalville Mayor Candidate Must Prove Residency To Receive Tax Exemption
You know an election is coming up when anonymous letters are sent to the media... A letter sent to KPCW and signed by A Very Concerned Coalville Resident claims that Coalville mayoral candidate Lynn Wood has declared dual residency in both Summit County and Salt Lake County.
Meanwhile, the Summit County Assessor’s office is recommending that one of the Wood’s two properties in Coalville needs to be changed to a non-primary residence for property tax purposes. Wood says both claims are inaccurate.
The letter from the Very Concerned Coalville resident claims the Woods have rented both of their Coalville properties as short term rentals and the county doesn’t have the correct paperwork on file for them to receive a primary home property tax reduction.
But Wood, who is facing Mark Marsh in November’s mayoral election, says she and her husband live full-time in one of their Coalville homes where they get a reduction of their property tax bill, and they pay full taxes on the second Coalville home they use for short-term rentals.
Wood acknowledges that hasn’t always been the case...When her husband was facing some medical challenges over the last few years, she says they were required to live closer to a Salt Lake hospital for his outpatient treatments. In order to help defray their housing costs, she says they rented their Coalville home and moved back to the home they own in Sandy. Wood says last year, when her husband’s health allowed them to, they made the move back to Coalville full-time.
“I should have no problem showing that we are, our vehicles are registered here, my church membership is here in this community,” Wood said. “We have lived here. We moved back here probably September of 2020 is when we came back here permanently and quit splitting time between the two homes.”
They have again rented out their Sandy home to a long-term tenant, as required by law, to legally secure a primary home property tax exemption for that property as well.
“My understanding,” Wood said, “is that if you're renting that and it's someone else's primary residence that you're eligible for that tax credit. If I'm wrong, then there'll be adjustment made and we will take care, care of the issue. So that's something that'll be looked into.”
Wood believes she has met the requirements of Coalville city to live in town for 12 months preceding the election.
“I wanted to make sure that I, you know, qualified for that,” Wood said. “I went back and checked our calendar and made sure that this- there's no question that it was a split residency or a part-time residency at all I wanted to make certain that I met that requirement. And I do.”
The Summit County assessor is asking the Woods to prove that their Coalville home is their primary home. At Wednesday’s Summit County Council meeting the assessor recommended to the Board of Equalization that Wood’s home in Coalville be considered as a non-primary residence. Assessor Stephanie Poll says she’s not sure what sparked the audit of the Woods’ property – there are lots of reasons to start an audit - and they typically don’t pay attention to candidates who are running for office.
“The home,” she said, “just came up as an audit check. There’s no current application or proof of residency on file, and in part of that audit check, we check with other counties, and there was also on a home in the Salt Lake County area, that was receiving the exemption. So, our process is to just make Salt Lake aware. They'll then do their own audit on the home in their county as to whether it qualifies for the exemption, and we send out the application and request proof of residency for the home here in Coalville as to whether it would apply here.”
Poll adds that the county is now tracking those properties that do have long-term leases and will check them more regularly to make sure they don’t fall into the pool of nightly rentals.
The Woods, she says, will need to provide copies of their drivers’ licenses. The assessor can also look at the Woods’ voter registration rolls and federal and state income tax filings to prove their residency. If those documents check out, she says they will update the Woods’ residential exemption.
Wood says she addressed the confusion on her Lynn Wood 4 Mayor Facebook page August 15th.