Wasatch County's total real property value has doubled in two years
County Manager Dustin Grabau said the increase is "painful," but represents hard work by the assessor's office in bringing values up-to-date.
The total value of all properties in Wasatch County was pegged at $16.2 billion this year. That’s a 37% increase over 2022, and roughly double what it was just two years ago, $7.8 billion, according to Todd Griffin, the county's assessor.
Speaking at the Wasatch County interlocal meeting on Aug. 9, County Manager Dustin Grabau said that increase represented a lot of hard work from Griffin's office in bringing those values up-to-date.
"I think we have made a lot of progress over the last three years that Todd's been in office, to get to accurate assessments that are fair," he said. "And while it's painful to make this transition, I think it reflects better, accurate values than we've had in the past."
Griffin said the pain of the adjustments was previously felt by residents, but this year it would be particularly acute for owners of commercial properties. Those values jumped from $514 million to $1.1 billion. But Griffin told meeting participants that will make the tax burden more equitable for everyone.
"By the commercial properties being reassessed, the tax burden has shifted," he said. "Although some in here probably have a tax increase this year, probably most of you have a decline."
And property owners now have a new online tool to evaluate how equitable their property assessments are. The county has released a new property values heatmap, which shows both the price of land per acre for each parcel, as well as the price per square foot of the building. While the map is live now, Griffin told KPCW it’s still a work in progress.
"There's going to be, I believe, a total of nine maps when we're finished," he said. "We're going to do one map at a time of course, make sure it's correct and then move to the next level so that you can look at different aspects."
KPCW previously reported the county would not participate in the online state property values map that went live last month, citing concerns about how data like owner names might be used and accessed. But Griffin said Monday that extracting certain data from county databases has also been an issue. He said the county has been working to resolve both problems.
"We're close to being able to give them the data that they're requesting, in a format that's usable to them," he said. "But their map is a good tool."