Skip to main content

Understanding your property tax statement

Aug 08, 2023 03:39PM ● By Aimee Winder Newton

Did you get your property tax statement and feel overwhelmed trying to understand it? Every year we get calls from residents who need help making sense of their tax statement, so here is some info that might be useful.

The county treasurer is responsible for collecting taxes for over 70 different entities, not just Salt Lake County. That means that your city/township, school district, water districts, and other entities show up on your property tax statement. Once we get the money, we distribute it to the different taxing entities.

One great thing about our state is that Truth-in-Taxation is required. That means you will be notified if a government entity is trying to raise your taxes. This concept is all about transparency and making sure the government is open and honest about how your tax dollars are being used. Taxation is necessary for funding various public services, such as schools, parks, roads and public safety. But as taxpayers, it’s crucial for you to know where your hard-earned money is going.

Just because a tax rate stays the same, doesn’t mean your taxes won’t increase. After your property is assessed, the county adds in additional growth and then divides all the property values by the proposed budget amount. That is how we get the tax rate. Government cannot collect more than what they did the previous year without a Truth-in-Taxation hearing.

If property values and growth are going up, your tax rate would go down if there was no additional tax increase. When taxing entities tell you the rate hasn’t changed, that still could mean a tax increase from that entity. Don’t worry, though… it should be crystal clear on your property tax statement if it’s an increase. If there is a public meeting, that entity is raising your taxes this year.

As part of this process, governmental agencies are required to hold public hearings to discuss tax-related matters. These hearings are an excellent opportunity for you to voice your opinions and concerns regarding how tax dollars should be allocated. But how do you find out when these hearings are taking place? That’s where your notice of valuation comes in.

Notice of valuation is a document sent to homeowners that provides information about the assessed value of their property. It’s an important notice because it includes details about upcoming hearings related to property taxes. These hearings give you the chance to speak up and let your elected officials know what you think about the tax rates and how they affect you.

So, why is it important for you to notice when public hearings are available and take the opportunity to comment? Well, simply put, it’s your chance to be heard. By attending these hearings or submitting comments, you can influence the decisions that impact your community and your wallet. Your voice matters, and by actively participating, you can help shape the future of taxation in Salt Lake County. 

Remember, your voice matters, and by participating in the process, you can help shape a fair and transparent system that benefits everyone in Salt Lake County. Together, we can create positive change and ensure our tax dollars are used wisely.