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Rising property values and tax increases equal higher property tax assessments

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Each July, Utah County property owners receive their “Notice of Property Valuation and Tax Changes” from the Utah County Clerk. This year, residents will notice the largest value increases ever, with the average home increasing in value by nearly 30%. 

Utah state law requires taxing entities to follow a Truth-in-Taxation (TNT) system. The TNT system is revenue-driven instead of rate-driven, resulting in a decreased property tax rate when property values increase. The objective of the TNT system is to be revenue-neutral and have the taxing entity receive the same tax revenue each year per property unit.

Suppose your property value, according to the County Assessor’s Office, increases faster than the average county value increase. In that case, you will see a slight increase in tax levy from each taxing entity. Utah taxes primary residences at a discounted rate of 55% value. Second homes and investment properties are taxed at 100% value. 

With increased property values this year, Lehi residents will face a rate increase from three other taxing entities: Lehi City, Alpine School District and the Central Utah Water Conservancy District. 

Lehi City accounts for approximately 15% of residents’ total property tax bills. Last week, the Lehi City Council passed a 3.39% property tax increase, which will garner roughly$390,000 to City coffers. The City cites the need for two additional police officers and increased expenses throughout the budget. 

“There’s inflation out there, and the cost of police, fire, people and roads is increasing, and we need to recapture some of that [cost],” said City Finance Director Dean Lundell. 

On an average Lehi home, the increase is approximate $12 annually per household. 

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The Alpine School District basic levy also saw an increase this year. The state legislature sets the basic levy, not the Alpine School District Board of Education. The basic levy funds the Weighted Pupil Units (WPU) throughout the state. The basic levy increased this year by 17.9%, an approximate tax increase of $120, based on the average home value in the district. 

The Central Utah Water Conservancy District also enacted a tax increase this year. The 24.2% increase will cost homeowners approximately $27 annually. 

For instance, the tax estimates below show total taxes (entities over $100) for a Lehi single-family home valued at $540,500:

2021 Market Value: $398,700 – 2022: $540,500

2021 Taxable Value: $219,285 – 2022: $297,275

2021 Alpine School District Basic taxes: $364 – 2022: $491

2021 Alpine School District Other: $1,136 – 2022:  $1,194

2021 Utah County: $187 – 2022: $196

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2021 Central Utah Water Conservancy: $87 – 2022: $118

2021 Lehi City: $313 – 2022: $353

2021 Total Tax Bill: $2,140 – 2022: $2,413 (+12.7)

Residents may appeal their property assessed market value with the Utah County Auditor by September 15. Utah County property taxes are due in November each year.

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