By Julie Johansen
As property owners in Emery County open their evaluation notices throughout the upcoming week, they will find nearly a 25% increase from last year. This has been a large issue for the county to dissect, but essentially there are three reasons for this increase.
First is the school bond that was voted on and approved by the majority of citizens last November. The Utah State Tax Commission has also lowered the taxes on centrally-assessed corporations and businesses such as PacifiCorp, which passes this amount on to local residents to make up the difference. Statewide, this was a decrease of $150,000,000, which means about $1,000,000 lower tax revenues for Emery County.
Emery County Commissioners have invited the State Tax Commission to report their reasoning to the people of Emery County in August. According to Emery County Clerk Brenda Tuttle, this happens regularly, and it is sometimes a decrease and sometimes an increase.
The third reason was a factor order from the State to the County Assessor, which stated that homes and property values have risen significantly in the past year, so everyone’s property value has been bumped. The increase depends on the value of the property and especially affects residents that have two homes or homes that are not primary residences, such as mountain cabins, short-term rentals or businesses. This increase is about 10%.
Emery County recently mailed the evaluation notices that will include these higher values. Citizens are encouraged to open them soon so that adjustments to budgets, especially for those that pay monthly, can be addressed. The Emery County Commissioners expressed concern, stating they feel like they have been given hard pill to swallow by the State of Utah.