Tax appeals down in Weber over last year

Sep 7 2012 - 11:27pm

OGDEN -- Appeals of Weber County property assessments are almost 19 percent lower than the number received by this time last year.

In Davis County, it's a different story, where appeals are up about 5 percent from the same time in 2011.

Officials in both counties are anticipating a rush of appeals as the deadline to appeal property assessments approaches.

The deadline to submit appeals is 5 p.m. Sept. 17. All appeals mailed to the county offices must be postmarked no later than Sept. 17.

Weber County has, to date, received 726 property assessment appeals, down from the 895 at this same time last year, said Weber County Deputy Clerk/Auditor Roger Brunker.

One reason for the decline may be because of the work county officials have put into valuing and assessing property in the county, Brunker said.

But the number of appeals submitted to the county each year has been the norm because of the fluctuating housing market, he said.

In 2011, Weber County received more than 2,800 appeals, Brunker said. Where the county will end up this year remains uncertain because the numbers to date can be a bit misleading, he said.

"You never know until the last day," Brunker said, referring to the Sept. 17 deadline.

In Davis County, 540 property evaluation appeals have been submitted so far, compared to the 514 received last year during this same period, said Dale L. Peterson, acting director of the county's tax administration office.

Many of the appeals have come from owners recently refinancing their home, and as a result having available to them a recent appraisal showing their property is being overassessed, Peterson said.

A number of those submitting appeals are looking to reduce their property assessment by 5 to 10 percent, Peterson said.

The smallest disparity he has seen challenged to this point, between county assessment and counter-appraisal, is a $2,000 difference, Peterson said, which could equate to a $16 tax savings for the property owner.

With the appeal filing deadline approaching, Peterson said he is anticipating an onslaught of appeals based on the county receiving 2,017 appeals in 2011.

Last year, the county received approximately 1,500 appeals in the final weeks of the filing period.

What ends up happening at the last minute is, developers who own multiple residential properties in a single development will appeal the valuation of each property, which results in the late surge in appeals the county is anticipating, Peterson said.

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