Seven local communities propose property tax hikes

CACHE COUNTY – Under Utah’s Truth-in-Taxation law, seven of Cache County’s 19 municipalities will be holding public hearings in August to justify proposed property tax increases for next year.

Those communities are Clarkston, Hyde Park, Lewiston, Millville, Nibley, Richmond and Wellsville, according to a public notice recently issued by Diana Schaeffer, Cache County’s chief deputy auditor.

While the state Truth-in-Taxation statute does not technically limit property taxes, it does require local officials to notify their citizens of proposed property tax increases and hold announced forums to hear public responses.

Here in Cache County, those public hearings for proposed 2022 tax hikes are scheduled for 7 p.m. on Aug. 18 in Clarkston; 7 p.m. on Aug. 25 in Hyde Park; 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 19 in Lewiston; 7:15 p.m. on Aug. 12 in Millville; 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 26 in Nibley; 8 p.m. on Aug. 17 in Richmond; and 6:10 p.m. on Aug. 3 in Wellsville.

Utah’s Truth-in-Taxation law is revenue-driven rather than a rate-driven system, according to the Utah Taxpayers Association.

As the value of existing property increases to keep pace with residential and commercial markets, property tax rates generally decrease.

Such automatic reductions in property tax rates keep local governments from getting a revenue windfall simply because the value of existing properties within their boundaries have increased.

Those reduced property tax rates are known as the certified tax rates. Thanks to the Truth-in-Taxation law, local governments must go through its mandated notification and hearing process if they want to exceed the certified tax rate for their residential and commercial properties.

While the Utah Taxpayers Association played an instrumental role in the enactment of the Truth-in-Taxation law in 1985, its leaders have stated publicly that they do not oppose every proposed tax hike over the certified tax rate. In some cases, they explain, local governments are simply trying to recoup inflationary losses.

On the Cache County website, the Auditor’s Office has translated the proposed local municipal tax increases into dollar and cents terms.

The proposed hike by Clarkston officials, for example, would raise the annual taxes on the average property worth $257,000 by $44.80 for a residential property and $81.47 for a commercial property.

In Hyde Park, the proposed increase would raise property taxes on the average property worth $414,000 by $33.24 for a residential property and $60.44 for a commercial property.

The proposed property tax hike in Lewiston would raise the yearly taxes on the average property worth $285,000 by $47.96 for a residential property and $87.21 for a commercial property.

The tax hike proposed by officials in Millville would raise the annual taxes on the average property worth $385,000 by $21.18 for a residential property and $38.50 for a commercial property.

In Nibley, the proposed hike would raise the yearly taxes on the average property worth $353,000 by $35.53 for a residential property and $64.60 for a commercial property.

The proposed tax increase in Richmond would raise the yearly taxes on the average property worth $339,000 by $56.12 for a residential property and $102.04 for a commercial property.

Finally, in Wellsville, the proposed tax increase would raise the yearly taxes on the average property worth $366,000 by $22.57 for a residential property and $50.14 for a commercial property.

The locations for tax increase public hearings slated in August are 50 S. Main St. in Clarkston; 113 E. Center St. in Hyde Park; 29 S. Main St. in Lewiston; 510 East, 300 South in Millville; 455 West, 3200 South in Nibley; 90 South, 100 West in Richmond; and 75 E. Main St. in Wellsville.

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2 Comments

  • Mike July 13, 2021 at 10:14 pm Reply

    Since we moved to Hyde Park in 2017 the tax rate has barely changed yet the taxable value of my home has gone up +40% so my property taxes have increased significantly.

    Maybe it’s time Utah adopts something like California’s prop 13 that limits the property tax rate to 1% and the amount taxable values can increase each year to 2% unless the property is sold. If California cities can live within these boundaries, fiscally conservative Utah should have no problem doing the same.

    If the cities and counties need more money they should look at impact fees for new construction instead of punishing existing home owners.

  • Dianna Schaeffer July 15, 2021 at 10:22 am Reply

    CORRECTION PARAGRAPH 4- TAX INCREASES ARE FOR CURRENT YEAR 2021 NOT 2022

    With values constantly changing, the certified rate guarantees entities the same tax revenue each year. When an entity is required to notice the public of a tax increase that means they are proposing a tax revenue increase in current and all subsequent years. Many entities accomplish this by “holding the rate” in a climate of increasing values. If values have increased then holding the rate means more tax revenue every year for that taxing entity i.e. a tax increase to their property owners.

    Public notice on all seven hearings has been posted at the Cache County Administration Building and should be on the Cache County Facebook page by July 22nd.
    Attend your hearings, voice your concerns, and ask your elected officials to explain the reasons for the proposed tax increase.

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