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Sunday, May 14, 2006

Property Taxes Are Rising!

As has been previously mentioned on this site, many changes are occurring in and around our valley. Some are good, and some not so good. It seems as though the Post Olympic Housing boom has finally hit in a big way and there are both winners and losers.

Obvious winners are the many developers who are scattering our valley with new homes and subdivisions. Contractors, Realtors and mortgage brokers are all cashing in and we certainly don’t begrudge them for doing so. Many investors are reaping rewards by "flipping" run down properties for a ridiculous fortune, while some farmers and homeowners are selling out to jumpstart their wealth.

Weber County has taken note and is going after the easy money our valley provides by reassessing our property values. If your property taxes have not gone up yet, you can expect them to rise sharply in the upcoming years. Rumor has it the county has not reassessed the lower valley for years because it is not cost effective to do so, but they have been out in force reevaluating our properties. To the county, we are easy money.

The losers in this situation are those of us who wish to stay, but may find ourselves priced out of the market with the imminent tax increases. The time to band together and create a strong voice is now and that is one of the main reasons for the creation of this site - to unify and inform our community while planning an attack against taxes. One only has to look at Ketchum, Jackson and Park City to see the negative affects of outrageous property taxes. You will be hard pressed to find an "old timer" on a fixed income in any of those areas.

So where do we go from here? That is the million dollar question. In 1978, California voters passed Proposition 13, entitled "People's Initiative to Limit Property Taxation." In a nutshell it states that the real estate tax on a parcel of property is limited to 1% of its assessed value, until the property is resold. This "assessed value", however, may only be increased by a maximum of 2% per year.

The good new is that Utah is one of 24 states that allows citizens initiatives on ballots. Now it would be a big feat to have a few from Ogden Valley push a similar initiative onto the state ballot in 2007, but it may be realistic to get it on the Weber County ballot.

This is simply a grassroots effort at creating interest and input. While we do not have all the answers it is definitely an important issue that needs to be addressed very soon. Your input is welcomed. Check back often!

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