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Monday, October 20, 2008

Utah Home Values

The property tax payers in Utah should be asking some serious
questions of their County Tax Assessors office.

According to the latest NBC news report, home values across
the country have dropped 19% in the last year. Some areas such
as California, Nevada and Florida have dropped up to 34%.

The Weber County Assessors office would have you believe that Utah’s
home values are somehow immune from this nationwide drop in
value so they can continue to raise or not reduce your property taxes.
A person in Utah that now pays $3,000 a year in property taxes would realize a $570 drop in taxes if their property were assessed 19% below the previous year.

Some examples: Salt Lake City zip 84108 has had a reduction in home values of
18.39%, Holladay, zip 84117 has had a reduction in value of 14.63%.
These stats are from A Real Estate website in Salt Lake County.
It is reasonable to accept that the drop in values may not be exactly the same
in Weber County, but all we receive are tax increases from our Weber County
Assessor when the entire housing market is dropping in value.

The problem with the Assessors office is they do not readily share
the key information with the taxpayers on how they arrive at the
assessments. From what can be learned, they are inconsistent
and arbitrary and it is difficult to get an explanation when you
have questions.

The Weber County Assessor has to be responsible to some entity,
and it may be the 3 Weber County Commissioners. We should write
and call their offices to get some answers.

Your VCRD Staff


Blissfully apathetic said...

The Weber County Tax Assessor's office has one, Joe Olsen, in charge of the mostly women who actually "assess" our residential property. Joe Olsen actually lives in Davis County and has absolutely no ties to the people in Weber County or their annual reappraisals.

Doug Larson is also the assistant (meaning unelected) Weber County Tax assessor, and as such "rides heard over commercial property assessments".

Both are unelected staffers who manipulate our assessed "fair market value" assessments for the poorly managed and overwhelmed Weber County Assessor, Cheryl Madsen, who is elected. Please remember that. Also remember they must please their boss(es). The Assessor Cheryl Madsen and the Commissioners.

Assessor Madsen simply keeps her ear to the "requirements of Weber County" (budget or a "wet dream" list of nice to haves) serving at the behest of the three stooges (Oh...excuse me. The three wise people or County Commissioners).

If you want to see their work more clearly, research the property tax rates, and actuals for the percentage increase which Craig Dearden, Ken Bishoff, Zogmaster, Cheryl Madsen, Doug Larson, and Joe Olsen have been assessed for the past several years. Then compare it to others in Ogden Valley or Ogden.

When the budget year (2006) County budget was $100,000,000, and State law/statue limits property tax increases to less than 20%, the Auditor set the Certified Tax Rate such that Property Taxes with "new growth exempted" resulted in an overall increase of the previous year property tax revenue, plus 19%.

And when last year's budget "requirements" were set at $126,000,000... you guessed it! The certified tax rate was BACKED INTO" so that the County revenue was "neutral" with "new growth" BACKED IN. And AGAIN, to keep the State Tax Commission off their backs, the "neutral revenue" from Property Taxes were again BACKED INTO such that the $126,000,000, with "new growth", AGAIN reached almost exactly 19%. Here you might recall a Standard Ex. article were the Auditor stated Weber Co. actually had a 39 million dollar surplus. And it was in fact the truth. Dan Olsen is the auditor and was quoted. Under extreme pressure from the Commissioners, he recanted obfuscating the facts to fit the political BS these people feel is completely ethical.

Of course we unknowingly (by vote of the three stooges) gave ALL County employees a 9.5% pay increase. All 2,500 of them! And the Commissioners once again squandered millions of our grossly over assessed property and therefore taxes, on ill advised and un-necessary projects. Did you get a 9.5 % pay increase in Social Security, COLA, or any other Consumer Price Index related adjustments to your salary? Doubtful...

But HEY! Only one person went to the County Budget hearing last Dec. 6th 2007 and only one person objected. So who is at fault?

The Standard Examiner's support of Dearden in today's editorial is unconscionable. And it is based upon a near total disregard for the facts. And your vote for any "incumbent" at ANY level will also be completely misguided.

That is unless, you do not want any changes and blissfully think the Commissioners, Senatorial and House of Representatives (Dearden, Bishoff, Zogmaster, Froerer, Hatch, Bennett, Bishop, etc. are just doing "a wonderful job".

In that case you will reap what you deserve for not paying attention, nor being a very good and responsible citizen.

Ahhh, "blissfully apathetic" please do not confuse me with the facts.

Whistler said...

Election day is the day you can make your voice heard the loudest. If Dearden and the rest of the Weber County Commissioners don't care about what the property taxes are doing to the voters, let them know by voting against Dearden in this election. The apathy displayed by these "empty suits" calls for a voter reaction.