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Summit County Council to hold property tax briefing Wednesday

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Summit County, Utah
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A briefing and public hearing about property taxes will be held at the Richins Building in Kimball Junction on Wednesday at 5 p.m.

Property tax assessments have raised some eyebrows around the Wasatch Back lately, and the Summit County Council wants to explain notices property owners recently received and hear from residents on the topic at its meeting Wednesday.

The county’s assessor, auditor, and treasurer will join the meeting to discuss their roles and how properties are calculated and taxed.

Summit County Interim Manager Janna Young said a public hearing following the briefing will give residents time to express any concerns.

“So an excellent chance for everyone to get their questions answered," Young said. "I know some people have some specific questions about their specific notices.”

Under Utah law, counties collect a set amount of property tax revenue each year. That means counties don’t see increasing amounts of property tax revenue unless they either put the issue to voters through what’s called a Truth in Taxation process, or they expand their tax base through growth and development.

That system means that during property assessments, some people will see increases which actually lead to others getting decreases in order to keep the total consistent.

Summit County did not go through Truth in Taxation this year. But the Park City School District is holding a Truth in Taxation hearing next week as part of its effort to increase property taxes. Under the district’s proposal, the tax on a home valued at $1.1 million would go up about $100 per year.

About 56 percent of all property taxes collected in the county go to schools.

The property tax portion of the council meeting is scheduled to start at 5 p.m. The meeting will take place at the Richins Building in Kimball Junction, with the public hearing directly after.

Also on the agenda is a discussion about the status and future of the North Summit Fire District.

The district went through an overhaul earlier this year after its entire crew was suspended for insubordination and its then-chief, who worked part time, was fired. In late March Ben Nielson was hired as North Summit’s first full-time chief.

The district is growing rapidly and its administrative control board is currently considering a Truth in Taxation process because it needs more funds. Young said more money will help North Summit get to full staffing.

“There are several stations that are unmanned and sit vacant because there’s not enough budget for them," she said. "And obviously that plays into response times.”

The meeting will kick off at 2:40 with introductions of Miss Summit County, the Little Buckaroo, and the Rodeo Royalties from the county fair.

The agenda and virtual attendance link 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.
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