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Monday, December 15, 2008

Froerer Property Tax Relief Bill

Below is an overview of a residential property tax exemption bill that will be proposed by Representative Gage Froerer in the 2009 General Session of the Utah Legislation.

If passed the bill will provide relief for many residential property owners in Weber County and elsewhere who were required by county ordinance to build their homes on larger than one acre of land. The bill would also provide a vehicle for counties to penalize those individuals that illegally claim the homeowner’s exemption on multiple properties within the state.

We recommend that you give this bill your consideration, and if in agreement with it’s intent, e-mail, write or call your state representatives and senators in support of 2009FL-0057/001.

Sharon and Larry Zini


General Description:
This bill amends provisions of the Property Tax Act relating to the residential property tax exemption.

Highlighted Provisions:
This bill:
• Amends the size of residential property that may qualify for a residential exemption due to a local zoning requirement for residential property;

• Provides that a county assessor may require an owner of residential property to file a statement showing that the property qualifies for the residential exemption with the county assessor if:
-- the residential property is sold; or
-- the county assessor has reason to believe that the residential property no longer qualifies for the residential property tax exemption;

• Provides a penalty for falsely obtaining a residential property tax exemption;

• Defines terms; and

• Makes technical changes.

Effective date.
This bill takes effect on January 1, 2010.

To read the proposed bill in its entirety, click here.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Property Taxes to supplement Sales Tax?

A recent news story stated that increased property taxes may be needed because sales tax revenue is down in Utah. This may not be a bad idea if the collection of property taxes and the prosecution of tax scofflaws were effective in Utah and Weber County. How can the county increase property taxes when they don’t seal off the loopholes used by land owners to avoid staying current on their property taxes?

My husband and I live in Ogden Valley. Fourteen months ago we brought to the attention of Commissioners Craig Dearden and Jan Zogmaister the fact that both the Weber County Planning and the Building Permit departments were granting construction petitions to developers and builders despite the fact that the petitioners had delinquent property taxes on their property. To our knowledge there still has not been any action taken to remedy this situation. In addition, we also found out that many multiple property owners in the county are claiming the primary residence tax exemption on more than one piece of property. These two problems certainly cost Weber County many thousands of dollars in revenue and restrict the cash flow into County coffers.

Despite several additional direct letters to our Weber County Commissioners on these matters (with no response), it appears that the good old boys and girl of the County Commission will continue to ignore these facts and will not take any definitive steps to close off these loopholes to improve county tax collections.

One has to wonder if every citizen did not pay their property tax on time like these scofflaws, what the revenue stream would look like for Weber County. The fine for late payment should be at least 20% for delinquent property taxes in Weber County and developers should not be granted new permits to develop or build within the county until they are current on their existing property taxes.

What makes this all so ironic, is at a general meeting in Ogden Valley over a year ago about property taxes, a Deputy Tax Assessor opened the meeting by saying to about 500 residents that the biggest property tax problem in Weber County is UNCOLLECTED PROPERTY TAXES!

Sharon Zini

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


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