What You Need to Challenge the Taxable Value of Your Property in Utah
To successfully challenge the taxable value, you’ll need to establish at least one of the following facts:
- The tax assessor relied on information that is incorrect or incomplete.
- The tax assessor set the taxable value of your property that is higher than the taxable values of similar properties.
- The tax assessor assumed that the current market value of your property is higher than it actually is.
If you’re convinced that any of these facts is true, consider the following strategy for trying to get your taxable value reduced.
Confer With the Tax Assessor
If you have convincing evidence that the tax assessor has overvalued your home, he or she may agree to change the value. If that happens, you won’t need to pursue an administrative appeal. You can get contact information for your tax assessor from the website of the Property Tax Division of the Utah State Tax Commission.
Most tax assessors are hard-working officials who take pride in their work, and do their best to treat landowners fairly. It’s best to phone ahead for an appointment with the tax assessor or an assistant. Before your meeting, make extra copies of your evidence, such as tax assessor reports, related to the value of your property. When you meet, assume that the tax assessor is acting in good faith and is willing to consider your evidence.
The tax assessor may change the taxable value on the spot but, more likely, will need a few days or weeks to look into the issue.
Pursue An Appeal
If you can’t reach agreement with the tax assessor, you can appeal the valuation. Here’s where to appeal and useful evidence for doing so.
Where to Appeal
You can appeal your property valuation by petitioning your county board of equalization. File your petition within by September 15, or within 45 days after the assessor mails you a property valuation notice – whichever is later. Call the tax assessor’s office for details on what paperwork you need to submit. The board will conduct a hearing at which it will consider your evidence.
Useful Evidence for Your Appeal
In pursuing your appeal, several types of evidence may be useful, including:
- a recent appraisal of your property
- documents showing actual sales prices of comparable properties, and
- maps of similar properties and their proximity.
At the hearing, you’ll probably have just five or ten minutes to present your case, so be succinct. Bring extra copies of your documentary evidence so that each hearing officer has a copy. Try to include a chart showing comparative sales prices and taxable values. You may want to arrive early so that you can observe – and learn from – other people’s hearings.
You can appeal the board’s decision to the Utah State Tax Commission. Do so within 30 days after the board of equalization decides your petition. You file your appeal with the county auditor, who will have the proper forms available. For more information, visit the Commission’s website, and click on Appeals.
Consider Asking a Court to Review the Tax Commission’s Decision
If you don’t agree with the decision on your administrative appeal, you can go to court for a further review. You must do so within 30 days after Tax Commission’s final decision. You’ll probably need to hire a lawyer to advise or represent you if you plan to go to court.