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Summit County property values - and taxes - keep rising

Pinebrook.jpg
Parker Malatesta
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The Pinebrook neighborhood in Summit County. Local property values have sharply increased in the past year.

If you own a home in Summit County, you may have been thrilled to watch your property value spike in recent years. But that comes with higher property tax bills as well.

Add up all of the taxable property in Summit County, what do you get? $46 billion in value, according to the Summit County Assessor’s Office. That’s a 38% increase in just one year.

New homes, subdivided lots, and properties that previously were only partially assessed account for $1.3 billion of the over $12 billion increase from 2021.

The county notified residents by mail regarding updated property values and new tax notices this month. All property owners should have received noticies already. Anyone who didn’t should contact the assessor’s office.

Notices mailed to residents are not tax bills, just announcements of assessed property values. Official tax bills will be sent out in October.

Summit County Assessor Stephanie Poll said the county is always catching up to the market, as sales from the previous year are used in calculations. Heading into the third quarter of this year, Poll said while the number of property sales have decreased, prices have not.

Median home prices in Summit and Wasatch counties hovers around $2 million. In Park City proper, the median price is more than $4 million.

Summit County Interim Manager Janna Young told KPCW that high valuations are merely a symptom of the red-hot housing market in the Wasatch Back.

“It’s a crazy market, there’s not a lot of inventory," Young said. "It’s that typical supply and demand challenge.”

She said the assessor does mass appraisals, and there are sometimes inaccuracies on individual properties.

“I do want property owners to know that there are remedies available if they feel that the value that their home or their property was assessed at is incorrect," Young said. "They can actually file with the county auditor’s office to go through the Board of Equalization process.”

Bob Knox has lived in Pinebrook since 1995. The market value of his home has nearly doubled since it was last assessed, and his new property tax bill is 66% higher than last year’s.

“I’ve never seen anything like this before, I mean this is shocking," Knox said. "Why it wasn’t a gradual increase in property assessments, I don’t know.”

The Board of Equalization will consider appeals on property values through September 15. The board will not consider appeals on tax rate changes.

The county offers five tax relief programs, which are based on factors such as age, income, or disability.

Appeals can be made online. Appeal and tax relief information can be found here.

Parker Malatesta covers Park City for KPCW. Before coming to NPR, he spent one year as a general assignment reporter for TownLift in Park City. He previously was the news editor at The News Record, the student paper at the University of Cincinnati. He loves running, reading, and urban planning.