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Front Page » November 8, 2005 » Local News » Public policy organization expects state's property tax r...
Published 3,619 days ago

Public policy organization expects state's property tax revenues to surpass $1.9 billion mark in 2005

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Utah's statewide property tax revenues are expected to surpass the $1.9 billion mark in calendar year 2005.

An independent public policy organization based the 2005 property revenue estimate on Utah Tax Commission data for assessed valuations along with all rates adopted by local school districts, counties, cities, towns and special service districts at locations across the state.

The 2005 revenue projection includes locally assessed real and personal property as well as centrally accessed property and uniform motor vehicle fees, pointed out the latest report compiled by the Utah Taxpayers Association.

According to the association, automobile fees in lieu of taxes will account for 10.5 percent of the projected property revenues collected statewide in 2005.

As currently charged, real and personal property taxes will total $1.7 billion, representing an increase of 6 percent compared to 2004.

Since 2000, real and personal property assessments have climbed at an annualized 5.8 percent rate statewide.

Assessed valuation registers at $132.3 billion, for an increase of 7.4 percent.

The 2005 statewide effective tax rate on real and personal property registers at 1.288 percent, slightly lower than last year's 1.304 percent and slightly higher than the 1.275 percent average posted since 1999.

Along with projecting calendar year revenues, the organization lists the five highest and five lowest property tax rates for all types of local governments.

When all cities are included, the highest property tax rates are found in East Carbon at 0.006243, Salt Lake at 0.005368, Ogden at 0.004253, Roosevelt at 0.004220 and Brian Head at 0.004172.

The effective tax rate is 0.002566 for all Utah cities.

At the city level, property tax rates are impacted by decisions to impose utility franchise fees, pointed out the association.

Most of Utah's urban cities impose the tax, while many rural towns do not.

City property taxes are also impacted by local sales tax bases.

With the exception of East Carbon City, the county's overall property tax rate registers in the moderate range when compared to local governments statewide.

School district property tax rates are impacted by enrollment growth rates and assessed valuation per student, explained the association.

Rapidly growing districts with modest to low assessed valuations per student like Tooele, Jordan, Nebo and Alpine typically have high tax rates.

County effective rates are determined by dividing total real and personal property assessments charged by all local taxing entities by the total assessed valuation. The taxing entities include the county, public eduation systems and special service districts.

Valuation-weighted tax rates vary dramatically from county to county for several reasons, indicated the independent organization. Some local governments operate more efficiently. Local governments with low property tax bases need to provide the same services as counties with high property tax bases. However, a high tax base does not guarantee a low rate.

Millard County has the fifth highest rate despite having only 1.3 percent of Utah's population and 1.39 percent of the state's property tax base due to Intermountain Power. The power company pays more than 70 percent of Millard County's taxes.

One measure of local government efficiency in providing non-educational services is to evaluate effective tax rates (ETR) excluding school districts while accounting for assessed valuation per capita. By excluding school districts, the measure accounts for the tax burdens imposed by counties, cities and special service districts.

In 2005, school districts collected 54.9 percent of all property taxes charged statewide, unchanged from 2004. Counties collected an unchanged 18.8 percent, while the share for cities and towns decreased from 15.4 percent to 15.1 percent. The share collected by special service districts increased from 10.9 percent to 11.2 percent.

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