Civic Responsibility, Provo History, Taxes

Soaring Assessed Values Accent Levy Cut Need

Click to see original imageThe 90.4 per cent jump in Utah County’s total assessed valuation is unprecedented.

The figures further emphasize the absolute need for taxing units – cities, county, schools. and special districts – to drastically slice the tax levy.

Otherwise, taxpayers are going to face unwarranted new burdens as a result of the property reappraisal, which is mainly responsible for the big surge in valuation.

Under the reappraisal, property has been assessed at one-fifth of estimated market value. The reappraisal was designed to equalize – but if the taxing units don’t reduce levies by the full amount intended, then the taxpayers will suffer.

Of course, the law provides that most taxing units can reap total revenue of only 106 per cent of that harvested last year. There are a few exceptions possible, as in the case of a building program. But taxing units are urged to keep these to a minimum.

The county auditor reports the preliminary total assessed valuation for the county at $416,914,373, as compared with $218,869,585at this same period a year ago.

Equalization hearings are now in progress, with the county commissioners meeting with taxpayers who feel they are being treated unjustly or otherwise have assessment problems to talk over.

The upsurge in assessed values shows big gains in most small communities as well as in the bigger cities. In fact, some of the biggest percentage gains are in the fairly-small communities.

A few examples of the valuation boosts: Provo showed an increase of 75 per cent, climbing from $63,201,535 to $110,371,867. Orem’s valuation is up 90.2 per cent, from $44,766,965 to $85,151,008.

Alpine’s gain was 189.6 per cent; Mapleton’s, 156 per cent; Salem’s 142 per cent; Santaquin’s, 132 per cent; Genola’s, 157 per cent; and Lind0n’s, 110 per cent.

Lehi’s increase, 96 per cent; American Fork’s, 82 per cent; Pleasant Grove’s, 101 per cent; Springville’s, 88 per cent; Spanish Fork’s, 86.3 per cent; Payson’s, 101 per cent.

It’s up to officials of the taxing units now to carry out the spirit of the program and slice tax mill levies to keep tax revenue within intended bounds.

The levies are to be set in the next week or two. Thus, the time for responsible action is now.