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Taxes in Weber County may be going up, but programs offer relief to some

By Tim Vandenack - | Aug 15, 2022

Matt Herp, Standard-Examiner file photo

In this Nov. 6, 2018, photo, Weber County Clerk/Auditor Ricky Hatch speaks at Republican Party election watch party at the Weber Center in Ogden.

OGDEN — Property taxes may be going up for many, but there are relief programs out there that can help at least some, including the poor, the elderly and disabled veterans.

Weber County Clerk/Auditor Ricky Hatch wants the public to know about them. “We want to spread the word because property taxes are burdensome. We get that,” he said.

The long-standing programs have been around for years, but with several taxing entities pushing for property tax hikes this budget cycle, many people speaking out at public hearings have been expressing concern about the potential financial hit they’ll face, notably those on fixed incomes. At the same time, Hatch said he’s noticed a slight uptick in the number of applications to take part in the five programs, which are due Sept. 1.

Ogden and the Weber School District have already approved property tax hikes for 2023. Several other entities will be holding public hearings this week or taking action on tax hike proposals, including the Ogden School District, Roy, North Ogden, Harrisville and South Ogden.

Advocates for disabled military veterans have done a good job getting word out to that community that tax relief is potentially available, Hatch said. In fact, there were more successful applications last year to take part in a relief program geared to veterans with disabilities than any other — 3,517 of the 4,666 applications approved in all in Weber County. Hatch would like to see word spread, in particular, about the the circuit breaker relief program, geared to lower-income taxpayers and the elderly.

Income guidelines may apply and the initiatives generally provide from $200 to $2,000 in relief, depending on the program and the individual applicants’ circumstances. “This varies greatly depending on which program, and each program can vary depending on individual qualifications,” Hatch said.

Additional programs offer relief to the blind, other classes of low-income people and deployed military members. Income limits of $35,807, measured by applicants’ gross income last year, apply to the tax relief programs geared to lower-income Utahns.

The programs last year generated $7.24 million in relief for eligible applicants in Weber County, just a fraction of overall property tax collections of some $287 million. The state tracks the amount provided in property tax relief each year, figuring that in calculating certified tax rates for taxing entities so they don’t take a hit in lost revenue.

Though the programs come from the state, each county clerk/auditor’s office manages them in their particular counties. The applications are only a page, though applicants may also have to provide evidence of their income level.

Meantime, property owners who think the property valuation of their land is too high may appeal to the Weber County. Appeals go to the Weber County Assessor’s Office and they are due Sept. 15. Valuations are key in determining how much in taxes a property owner owes, along with tax rates.

More details on property tax relief programs, including applications, are available on the clerk/auditor office’s website, bit.ly/3JVa6h8. Alternatively, email questions to taxrelief@webercountyutah.gov or call 801-399-8489, though emails may get quicker response.

More information on appealing assessed valuations is available on the county assessor’s website, webercountyutah.gov/Assessor/appeals.php.

In 2021, 645 property owners appealed the valuations of their property and adjustments were made on 356 of them, according to figures provided by Hatch. A total of 99,382 property valuation notices went out last year.

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