During Utah’s recent 2015 general legislative session, the legislature passed a $75 million statewide property tax increase, but that may not be the only property tax increase this year. In addition to this increase in the statewide levy, Utahns are at risk of higher property taxes in August and December when cities, school districts, counties and various special districts review their budgets and determine whether or not to raise property taxes.
According to the Utah Taxpayers Association’s most recent How Utah Compares report, Utah ranks 32nd on property taxes in the US, meaning the property tax burden on Utahns is below average when compared to other states. However, Utah’s ranking has been worsening in recent years, moving from 38th in 2006 to 32nd in 2012. This ranking will certainly get worse once the new $75 million property tax increase hits taxpayers.
Utah isn’t the only state seeing an increase in property taxes. A new report shows that the most hated tax is on the rise across the nation. The Pew Charitable Trusts recently reported that across the nation, property taxes are rising faster than inflation. Median property taxes rose 57% from $1,334 in 2000 to $2,090 in 2013, while inflation was only 35% during that period.
Counties in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey face the highest median property taxes in the nation, accounting for 18 of the 20 highest-taxed counties in the nation. Westchester County in New York has the highest median levy of $10,000.
In Utah, the statewide median annual property tax is $1,446, and the county with the highest median is Summit County at $2,243.
Click here for the interactive map.
To counter these increases, many states are now looking to provide property tax relief through caps, credits and subsidies. However, capping or cutting property taxes doesn’t necessarily provide relief to taxpayers because often the costs of government merely shift to the income tax or other taxes and fees.
Here in Utah, the Utah Taxpayers Association is monitoring all proposed property tax increases at both a local and state level. This year we are aware of at least four entities that will be holding a Truth in Taxation hearing this August to raise property taxes: Sandy, Provo, Clearfield, and Millard School District. We will provide more detailed information as it becomes available and keep you updated with a list of all entities considering raising property taxes.