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Summit County Council approves data analyst position for assessor’s office

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Parker Malatesta
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Summit County's total taxable property value increased 38% this year to $46 billion.

Summit County Assessor Stephanie Poll previously said that roughly 500 commercial parcels are overdue for assessment.

The Summit County Council met Wednesday and heard from a state official about the property tax process in Utah.

Josh Nielsen is the director of property tax for the Utah State Tax Commission. He told the Summit County Council Wednesday that the county’s assessment passed its state audit, but more work has to be done.

“Just because we feel that the 2022 tax roll is sufficient, and has met the requirements that it needs to meet - we can all admit that it’s not perfect, and it can be better,” Nielsen said.

He said it’s vital that the county catch up on its backlog and get more commercial properties assessed. Summit County Assessor Stephanie Poll previously said that roughly 500 commercial parcels are overdue for assessment.

Following Nielsen’s presentation on Wednesday, the council voted to add a full-time data analyst to the assessor’s office.

Summit County Councilmember Glenn Wright said that will help with all general property tax adjustments.

Wright said the 20% of residential properties that received in-depth review this year are taking on more of the tax burden amid rising housing costs in the Wasatch Back.

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 put the issue to voters through what’s called a Truth in Taxation process, or expand their tax base through growth and development.

That system means that during property assessments, some people will see increases due to rising property values, which leads to other owners seeing decreases in order to keep the total amount collected the same.

Wright said tax bills will even out for all property owners over the next several years.

“20% of the county is not happy this year. 80% was happy. Their taxes, because of the surge in the 20%, probably went down," he said. "Another 20% are going to see that next year, so tune in for some more complaints.”

Property owners who believe they have been assessed incorrectly can appeal through the Board of Equalization until September 15.

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.