If you’re thinking about your financial picture since it’s the end of the year, one of the things you might be thinking about is property taxes. Here’s everything you need to know about appealing them if you feel that your property’s valuation is wrong.
Receiving and Reviewing Your Property Tax Notice
In July, you’ll receive your property tax valuation notice. Review all the info, especially the information on current market value—this is what the Board of Equalization will review if you file an appeal. You can’t actually appeal the taxes due.
Questioning Your Property Valuation
Under state law, the Assessor’s value on your notice is assumed to be correct. If you have any questions about it, be sure to call the Assessor’s Office. If you still feel that the valuation is not correct, you may want to file an appeal with accompanying evidence.
The filing deadline for an appeal is 45 days from the date the notice was mailed or September 15th (which is longer).
Filing Your Appeal
While you can file your appeal via mail, the easiest way is to do it online here. You’ll submit property and owner information.
You’ll need evidence that the valuation of your property is wrong to provide the Board of Equalization in order to have them accept your appeal for review. Here are some types of evidence you can provide.
Properties sold through the Wasatch Front Regional MLS can be submitted as evidence that your valuation is wrong. Please submit sales of properties within one year prior to January 1 of the current year. You need as three comparable properties, and they would prefer five.
I can provide you with the properties in the correct full report format, as well as make sure the search criteria is illustrated properly.
Real Estate Settlement Statement
This is the document you get from the title company that disclose the sales prices and all other charges incurred when the property is purchased. If you use this to back up your appeal, submit a completed, signed copy of the closing document, which has to have occurred within one year prior to January 1 of the current tax year.
An independent appraisal is the best evidence you can give in your appeal. It contains a description of your property and other important info for comparisons, including a final estimate of market value.
Appeal Review Process
Your appeal will be reviewed by the Board of Equalization and will go through one to four phases (many appeals get resolved before getting to the second and third phases).
Phase 1: Screening
The Tax Administration screens the submitted documentation and evidence. You may receive a notice that more evidence is needed, and if there’s no response, the appeal may be dismissed.
Phase 2: Value Review
The Assessor will review the documents and make a recommendation about whether or not the value should be adjusted. The taxpayer will receive that recommendation by mail and can accept the decision or continue to the next phase.
Phase 3: Hearing
You’ll get a notice with the date, time, and location so you can attend the hearing if you wish.
A hearing officer of the Salt Lake County Tax Administration will conduct the hearing, take oral testimony (if you appear), and review all the evidence about market value that you submitted, as well as the evidence the Assessor’s Office submitted.
Once the hearing has ended, the hearing officer will review all the evidence and write a recommendation about the market value for your property. This recommendation will go to the Tax Administration, which will then review your appeal before it’s returned to the Auditor and placed on the agenda for a formal review by the Board of Equalization.
Once approved, you’ll receive written notification of the outcome of your appeal within a few days of formal approval.
Phase 4: Utah State Tax Commission
If you’re still dissatisfied with the decision, the Utah State Tax Commission will mediate the dispute between the taxpayer and Assessor and send a final decision by mail.
You can accept the decision to finalize the appeal or send it to the third district court within 30 days.
IMPORTANT NOTE: All taxes are due by the November 30th deadline, even if your appeal has not been resolved.
If you feel like your property tax valuation is off, I hope this helps you know what to do next! And if there’s anything I can do to help, don’t hesitate to give me a call.