Why do you have property taxes? What do those taxes pay for? How do you protest them if you think they are too high?
When you buy a home in Utah, you’re actually pretty lucky because our property taxes are relatively low. Every property is a little different, but your property taxes are roughly 0.5% of the value of your home.
This is the value determined by the county, which is not necessarily the same thing as the market value of your home.
Most of your property taxes go to the school district. Utah has the highest birth rate and the youngest population in the country, so there are a lot of kids in school and we have to pay for it somehow. Some of your property taxes may go to country or city roads, but most of it goes to the school district.
So, what happens when you get your letter in the fall and the value is too high? After all, you don’t want to overpay your taxes.
“If your property taxes are way too high, I’ll go down to the county assessor’s office with you.”
First, give your real estate agent a call. If you don’t have a family member or friend in real estate, let me know what the county says your home is worth and I can figure out a more accurate value.
Keep in mind that the county-assessed value is not based on what is happening in the current market. It’s actually based on the fourth quarter of the previous year. I’ll look at the fourth quarter of the last year and put together comparable homes that have sold in your neighborhood.
If the value is off by a small amount, you can just mail that information to the assessor’s office. If the value is off by a lot, I will go down with you to the county assessor’s office to protest the value and defend the new value. From there, the county assessor will readjust your property taxes.
That’s how property taxes work in our area of Utah. If you have any questions or you need help protesting your property taxes, give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!