By Sara Price
The judgment levy was passed on Tuesday. So what does it mean for Emery County citizens?
Emery County lost the battle against PacifiCorp over property taxes paid in 2006 and 2007. This year the Utah State Tax Commission and the court decided in favor of PacifiCorp in the form of a judgment levy.
PacifiCorp felt that its tax assessment was unfair and after several years in court the Utah State Tax Commission agreed. This places Emery County, the Emery County School District, the Emery Water Conservancy District and Castle Valley Special Service District on the line to pay back those taxes.
The judgment levy, however, requires the company to pay back 67% of the tax refund to the county it collected it from. Both Emery County Commissioners and PacifiCorp have not been happy with the judgment levy but it was nevertheless agreed upon in court.
In order to pay its share of the burden, Emery County and Emery County Special Service District met on Aug.13 to decide whether or not to raise taxes temporarily to help pay those bills. Emery County School District and Emery Water Conservancy District will have their own meetings on August 14, and the 19, respectively.
If all four entities agree to the tax increase to pay for the refund due, residents should expect to pay an additional $28.25 on their 2013 property tax bill. Commercial property owners should expect to pay an additional $91. This new tax increase will show up as a 100 percent increase. It does not mean that taxes were raised 100 percent, but rather a new tax was increased 100 percent. In 2014 these lines will return to zero.
This judgment levy applies countywide and residents should expect to see these changes on their tax bill this year. The public hearing for the Emery County and Castle Valley Special Service District occurred Tuesday. Concerned citizens asked the board why the increase could not come from cutting budgets elsewhere. Commissioners assured citizens that budgets were constantly being evaluated and squeezed as tightly as they could, and that the only way to pay this judgment levy was to temporarily increase property taxes for a single year. They regretted that this was their only solution.
If citizens of Emery County feel they need further clarification, they may contact the respective departments, but the time for public complaint occurred at the public hearing meeting.
Here’s a breakdown of the judgment levy:
|Entities||Amount Owed||Property Type||From:||To:||Contact|
|County of Emery||$319,310||Residential
|Emery County School District||$409,298||Residential
|Emery Water Conservancy District||$28,030||Residential
|Castle Valley Special Service District||131,442||Residential