Board of Equalization (BOE)
The ability to adjust property values is vested in the BOE. The County Council serves as the BOE and the Auditor is the clerk that records and implements decisions. The BOE can add inadvertently omitted property to the assessment rolls, raise or lower property values to fair market value, and exempt property from taxation consistent with the Constitutional standards. (59-2-1001)
Certified Tax Rate (CTR)
Previously referred to as a "Levy". Once the annual budgets for all 72 taxpayer services entities (i.e. schools, libraries, utility service districts, etc.) in the County are generated and property values are determined, a multiplying number called the certified tax rate is calculated to ensure enough tax revenue is generated to cover all the taxpayer services budgets.
Therefore, the overall calculation is Property Values x Certified Tax Rate = Taxpayer Services Budgets. Two different agencies calculate these tax rates for the County. The County Auditor calculates the CTR for the 10 Salt Lake County taxpayer service agencies. The Utah State Tax Commission (USTC) calculates the CTR for the other 62 regional countywide taxpayer service providers.
Property taxes paid after November 30th (or on the following Monday if the 30th falls on a weekend or holiday) are subject to penalties and ultimately interest.
Taxpayer Services Entities
Taxpayers reside in a tax district. In that tax district there are approximately a dozen entities that provide taxpayer services for that district. Across the entire County there are 72 separate entities that service all taxpayers and they are as follows.
Countywide Services - SLCo Administered (10)
Council funded services that are budgeted, provided, and managed by the elected officials in Salt Lake County. These include the following:
- Salt Lake County Library Services(Excluding Salt Lake and Murray Cities)
- Flood Control
- Bond Debt Service (Taxpayer voted and approved projects)
- Health Services
- Clark Planetarium
- County Tax Administration (Funds the independent elected agencies that are responsible for the recording (Recorder), assessing (Assessor), calculating (Auditor), billing, collecting, and distributing (Treasurer), appeals (Auditor/Council Tax Administration), and legal issues (District Attorney) for the $1 billion in annual property taxes)
- Government Immunity (General lawsuit protection outside of unincorporated SLCo)
- Municipal Tort Liability (Unincorporated SLCo Coverage - Lawsuit protection)
- Capital Improvement (Taxpayer Facilities and Maintenance)
- General Fund (Mayor Agency Administered Public Service Operations)
Regional Taxpayer Services Providers - Various (61)
Services that are budgeted, provided, and managed by 61 individual entities across the County. These include schools, emergency services, sewer and water delivery, garbage removal, libraries (Salt Lake City & Murray City), recreation centers, etc.
Multi-County Assessing & Collecting (1)
Salt Lake County contributes to the Utah State Tax Commission (USTC) which funds smaller counties in Utah for tax assessing and collections.
For a taxpayer, typically of significant size, a property valuation appeal can stretch over several years. If the appeal is successful, the taxpayer is reimbursed which creates a revenue shortage for the entities who provided services for that taxpayer in that prior year. A judgment levy can be utilized by a taxpayer services entity to recover that loss from all taxpayers in the affected taxing district(s) in the current property tax year.
Property Tax Sale (May Tax Sale)
For any property that is not redeemed by March 15 and is five years delinquent, the Treasurer provides a listing to the Auditor. This is called the "Tax Sale Listing". (59-2-1343) From March 15 to the date of the tax sale the Treasurer daily transmits the preceding business day delinquent property tax payments (redemptions) to the Auditor. (59-2-1345)
Residential Tax Exemption
By statute residential property owners receive a 45% exemption (discount) off the fair market property valuation of their primary residence before the certified tax rate is applied. This does not apply to businesses. (59-2-103)