Scofield property taxes zoom
Scofield property owner Don Arlotti said he was stunned when he got his recent property tax notice from Carbon County. The value of his home had by reassessed at about a third more than it was last year and his taxes went up proportionately.
"I have an empty lot, too," he added. "They're now telling me it is worth more than it was when I had a house on it."
So Arlotti and his wife, Judy, compared notes with their neighbors in the tiny township and found others were in the same situation. One of them, Shane Moreno, had seen his taxes go up more than 300 percent, they said.
"We were shocked," Moreno said, confirming what the Arlottis had said about the revaluation. He went on to say that he tried to get an independent assessment from a Price real estate brokerage.
"They told me they'd be glad to do it, but they had a problem in Scofield. They said there hadn't been any property sold there since I bought the house so there was nothing to compare it with," he explained.
Moreno finally found another appraiser who took the job and compared to property to similar communities nationwide and found that the appraisal was pretty close to what his value was last year.
"There's no rhyme or reason to it," Don Arlotti commented. "We were told that the property here had not been assessed for ten years. But even if the property value had gone up for five years, it had to be dropping for the last five years."
Actually, the last general assessment of Scofield property was conducted in 1998, according to County Assessor Julie Medley. Medley explained that her office went out and visited each property. Before the visits, the office mailed letters to residents advising them that the assessment was underway and asking for permission to check the interiors for valuation purposes as well. "We used standard assessment methodology," she stated.
Medley allowed that the sales of property have been sluggish, and explained that the county used values from two years ago for its valuation comparisons.
Nevertheless, the property owners think the assessments overstate the value of the homes in the current makrket
Don Arlotti noted that Scofield Town has little in common with the new subdivisions on the lake's west side. "This is not a gated community. The new developments are not downtown Scofield. This is an old town. It was a ghost town."
The Arlottis and Moreno noted that the town receives little in services from the county. Scofield has a small volunteer fire department, no local ambulance service, and no police department to call its own.
"I'm very sympathetic and realize it is big increase," Medley said of the revised valuations. She explained that the Board of Evaluation is ready to listen to each individual case. "We don't want to overvalue their property," she stated.
The assessor's office handles only the valuation of property in the county. Tax rates are a function of the various taxing entities.