Summit County Council Approves Data Analyst Position for Assessor’s Office

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

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

“Just because we feel the 2022 tax roll is good enough and has met the requirements it needs to meet – we can all agree it’s not perfect and it can be better,” said said Nielsen.

He said it’s critical the county catches up with its backlog and gets more commercial properties appraised. Summit County Assessor Stephanie Poll previously said about 500 commercial parcels were overdue for assessment.

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

Summit County Councilman Glenn Wright said it would make any general property tax adjustments easier.

Wright said the 20% of residential properties that have come under scrutiny this year are shouldering more of the tax burden amid rising housing costs in Wasatch Back.

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

This system means that during property assessments, some people will see increases due to increases in property values, causing other owners to see decreases in order to maintain the same total amount collected.

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

“20% of the county is not happy this year. 80% were happy. Their taxes, because of the 20% hike, have probably gone down,” he said. “Another 20% are going to see this next year, so tune in for more complaints.

Owners who believe they have been misassessed can appeal to the Equalization Board until September 15.

Sean N. Ayres