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Frequently Asked Questions

Who can file an appeal?
An owner of record can submit an appeal. If an individual represents someone (client, family member, etc) a completed Authorization to Represent Record Fee Owner form (available online) must be completed and submitted with the appeal.
How are tax rates set for my property?
Tax rates are set by procedures outlined in the Utah Constitution. Rates are not set by the County Assessor. There are many different taxing entities in Tooele County. Each entity sets its own rate annually. These entities include the school district, city, county, water district, special service district, etc.
Can the land value be appealed?
Yes, if it is a vacant lot. If the property includes an improvement (house, commercial building, barn) the appeal can only be filed on the combined value of the land and the improvement.
What is real property?
Real property includes land and buildings.
Who receives property tax money?
Property taxes are an important source of revenue for public (K-12) schools, law enforcement, fire departments, libraries, streets and roads, city and county government. As in most states, property taxes are the backbone of funding for local government and schools. Generally, public (K-12) schools receive the largest share of the property tax.
How are real property taxes calculated?
Multiply the assessed market value of your property by 55% if the property qualifies for the Primary Residential Exemption. Then multiply by the tax rate for the tax district in which the property is located.
Why do property taxes vary throughout the county?
There are several different taxing entities in the state. Cities, counties, fire districts, water districts, mosquito abatement districts, and schools all have the ability to levy taxes. Each of these entities has different budgeting needs and therefore, levy different taxes.
What is the Primary Residential Exemption?
Utah law requires assessors to exempt from taxation 45% of the fair market value of residential property. Section 59-2-102 and rule R884-24P-52 define residential property, for purposes of the exemption, to be a primary residence. To qualify, a property need not be owner occupied. Apartments and other rental housing used as a primary residence qualify for the exemption. The assessor shall grant the residential exemption to the first one-acre of land, if listed in the same parcel description. The property owner has the burden of proving that property qualifies for the exemption.
What if I disagree with the market value placed on my property?
If you have questions concerning your real or personal property, please contact our office. It is important that we correct any factual or valuation errors. Property owners are welcome year-round to meet informally with our staff, to correct errors in property characteristics and to discuss valuation issues. However, an adjustment to the current years taxes can only be done during the 45-day Board of Equalization window. This period includes August and the first 15 days of September.
I just purchased my house for more or less than the assessed value. What is the market value?
A purchase may or may not be market value depending on the conditions surrounding the sale. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) defines market value as "The most probable price which a property should bring in a competitive and open market under all conditions requisite to a fair sale, the buyer and seller, each acting prudently, knowledgeably and assuming the price is not affected by undue stimulus." If you buy a house from your parents, a bank, or a seller who has moved out of state, the purchase price may not be market value.
What is market value?
See above for market value definition. Estimating the market value of your property involves discovering the price most people would pay for the property in its present condition. However, it is not that simple. The assessor has to find what the value is for every property in the County, no matter how large or small. But the assessor's job doesn't stop there. Each year this process has to be repeated because the value of most properties change from year to year.
How can the value of my property keep increasing if I haven't done anything to it?
Property values are based on the activity in the marketplace from January 1st. If homes similar to yours are selling for a higher price, state law requires the assessor to value your property in a similar manner.
Why should I be penalized for somebody else paying a high price for a home in my neighborhood?
 It really isn't a penalty. Sometimes it may appear that way. Few people will pay more for something than it is worth. Therefore, if a number of homes similar to yours are selling for more, based on the sales price paid by newcomers to your neighborhood, it increases the marketability and market value of your property.
My market value didn't go up, why did my taxes increase?
The County Assessor does not establish the amount of taxes you pay. If the market value placed on your property by the assessor remained the same as the previous year, the increase in your taxes can be attributed to an increase in tax rates within your particular tax district. Tax rates can increase due to public voting on bond issues, such as school bonds, jail, etc., or an increase in the budget of a taxing entity.
Do you visit each home in the county?
 Yes, Utah law requires a review of property characteristics once every five years.
How can my property increase in value if it is getting older?
 In order to estimate a market value for your property, we must analyze the market in your neighborhood. As homes with similar characteristics are sold, values are adjusted to follow the market.
What legal references exist concerning assessment laws?
The Utah Constitution, Article XIII, Section 2, requires "All tangible property in the State, that is not exempt under the laws of the United States, or under this Constitution, shall be assessed at a uniform and equal rate in proportion to its fair market value, to be ascertained as provided by law and taxed at a uniform and equal rate." Title 59, Chapter 2 of the Utah Code is a Property Tax Act, which contains provisions for levying and collecting taxes on both personal and real property. Provisions of 59-2 also cover appeals (59-2-1001 et seq.), exemptions, deferrals and abatements (59-2-1101 through 59-2-1220), tax liens (59-2-1301 et seq.), delinquencies (59-2-1331), and sales of property for delinquent taxes (59-2-1302, 59-2-1303 and 59-2-1343 through 59-2-1364). In addition, Tax Commission Rules R884 pertain to property tax as well as the Uniform School Fund.
How do I appeal my market value?
Valuation notices are mailed to property owners at the end of July. If you do not receive yours, please call the Tooele County Auditor's Office at (435) 843-3130. The notice contains the information for the tax payer to submit evidence and formally file an appeal with the Board of Equalization. A completed formal appeal must be submitted by September 15th to insure the preservation of your rights to appeal. Your appeal must contain evidence to support your value conclusion. At the Board of Equalization, which is held during the month of September, you will meet in a comfortable, informal setting with a realtor, attorney or a real estate appraiser from the private sector. This person has been hired by the county to impartially judge the value of your property.
What constitutes as evidence?
You need to bring some sort of evidence (an appraisal-- a closing statement-- records of comparable houses, in comparable areas that sold for a comparable price-- etc.) 1) to demonstrate that the value placed by the assessor on your property is wrong, 2) to show what the value should be. You need to convince the County Board of Equalization that the value that the county has on your property is incorrect!

The County Board of Equalization can only decide 1) whether a property is exempt or 2) if a property is correctly valued. If you feel that your property would sell for the amount stated by the assessor, but you feel that your taxes are too high, you should discuss your concerns with your legislative representative and with your taxing entities. (Cities, County, School Districts, Water Districts, etc.)
How often does the county appraise my property?
State law requires that all properties be physically inspected every five (5) years and adjusted to market value every year. The values of each neighborhood are analyzed annually to ensure that the county's assessed value matches market.
How soon should I hear back regarding my appeal?
Depending on the number of appeals the Assessor's Office receives and the order they receive them, you may not be contacted for up to two weeks after you submit your appeal. The appraisers in the Assessor's Office review the appeals as quickly as they can. However, the longer you wait to turn in your appeal, the longer you will wait to hear back from an appraiser.