Overview of Utah Taxes
Utah’s average effective property tax rate is just 0.68%, 11th lowest in the country.
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To calculate the exact amount of property tax you will owe requires your property's assessed value and the property tax rates based on your property's address. Please note that we can only estimate your property tax based on median property taxes in your area. There are typically multiple rates in a given area, because your state, county, local schools and emergency responders each receive funding partly through these taxes. In our calculator, we take your home value and multiply that by your county's effective property tax rate. This is equal to the median property tax paid as a percentage of the median home value in your county.
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Jennifer Mansfield Tax
Jennifer Mansfield, CPA, JD/LLM-Tax, is a Certified Public Accountant with more than 30 years of experience providing tax advice. SmartAsset’s tax expert has a degree in Accounting and Business/Management from the University of Wyoming, as well as both a Masters in Tax Laws and a Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center. Jennifer has mostly worked in public accounting firms, including Ernst & Young and Deloitte. She is passionate about helping provide people and businesses with valuable accounting and tax advice to allow them to prosper financially. Jennifer lives in Arizona and was recently named to the Greater Tucson Leadership Program.
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Utah Property Taxes
Residential properties that are the primary residence of the homeowner in Utah receive a property tax exemption of 45%, which means that only 55% of a home’s value is subject to taxation. That keeps property taxes on most homeowners quite low. Utah’s average effective property tax rate is just 0.68%, 11th lowest in the country. Read on to learn more about how the property tax system in Utah functions, and to find out about rates across the state. If reading about low property taxes has you dreaming of moving to Utah, or if you are considering refinancing a property in the state, our mortgage guide provides homebuying information specific to the Utah housing market.
How the Utah Property Tax Work
Property taxes in Utah are largely handled at the county level. While the state sets certain guidelines and assists counties with administering the property tax, counties are responsible for the appraisal of property and the calculation of tax rates.
The first step in Utah’s property tax system is the valuation of property. By state law, county assessors are required to physical inspect and appraise all property within their county at least once every five years. The purpose of this appraisal is to calculate full market value. Between appraisals, that market value is adjusted based on sales data and other factors.
Residential property in Utah receives a 45% property tax exemption. Thus, if the market value of your home is $100,000, the taxable value will be just $55,000. Your local tax rates apply to that taxable value.
Utah Property Tax Rates
There are over 1,000 different property tax areas in Utah, each with a separate rate. These areas are a product of the multiple different levels of government that can levy property taxes, including counties, cities, school districts and water districts.
The total of the rate between all the applicable tax authorities is the rate paid by homeowners. Rates are expressed as a percentage of taxable value.
When comparing between counties or states, it is useful to look at the effective rate. This is the amount paid annually as a percentage of home value. The table below shows median home value, median annual property taxes and the average effective tax rate for every county in Utah.
|County||Median Home Value||Median Annual Property Tax Payment||Average Effective Property Tax Rate|
Salt Lake County
With a population of just over one million, Salt Lake County is the largest in the state of Utah. It contains the state’s largest city, in Salt Lake City. The county’s average effective tax rate is 0.74%, third highest in the state.
According to the Utah State Tax Commission, there are 318 separate tax districts in Salt Lake County. Total rates in those districts (as a percentage of assessed value) range from 1.29% to 1.99%. For residential property, assessed value is equal to about 55% of market value.
Utah County is located directly south of Salt Lake County in central Utah, and is the state’s second largest county by population. Its largest city is Provo. The median annual property tax paid by homeowners in Utah County is $1,361 seventh highest in the state, but still more than $700 lower than the national average.
Total rates in Utah, which apply to assessed value, range from 1.07% to 1.75%. In Provo, the total rate is 1.098% as of 2014. The largest recipient of the tax in Provo is the school district, which accounts for over half of the total tax.
Situated along the eastern bank of the Great Salt Lake, Davis County has property tax rates somewhat higher than the state average, but lower than the rates in nearby Salt Lake County. The average effective tax rate in Davis County is 0.68%. At that rate, the taxes on a home worth $200,000 would be about $1,360 annually.
Weber County is the fourth largest county in Utah, with a population of about 230,000. The largest city in the county is Ogden. On average, Weber County has the second highest property tax rates in Utah. The county’s average effective rate is 0.81%, second only to Salt Lake County.
Washington County is located in the southeast corner of Utah, along the state borders with Nevada and Arizona. It is named after the first U.S. president, George Washington. It also contains large portions of Zion National Park and the Red Cliffs Conservation Area. The median annual property tax paid by homeowners in Washington County is $1,346, eighth highest in the state.
This northeast Utah county has property tax rates somewhat lower than the state average. The county’s average effective rate is 0.57%, 19th highest in the state but below the state average of 0.68%. In Logan, which is the county’s largest city, the total rate as of 2014 was 1.3104%. That rate applies to taxable value. For residential, primary residences, taxable value is equal to 55% of market value.
Tooele County stretches from the Nevada border to the southeast corner of the Great Salt Lake. There are 38 different tax districts in Tooele County. Total rates in those districts range from 1.18% to 1.59%, with an average of 1.37% (that applies to assessed, not market value).
Box Elder County
The eighth most populous county in Utah, Box Elder County is named for the tree species that is so common in the county. The average effective property tax rate (median property taxes as a percentage of median home value) in Box Elder County is 0.70%, fourth highest in the state. A homeowner paying that rate on a home worth $150,000 would pay about $1,050 annually.
Iron County is located in southwest Utah, along the border with Nevada. The largest city in Iron County is Cedar City. The county encompasses just 13 tax districts, as much of the county is unincorporated. Iron County’s average effective property tax rate is 0.65%, ninth highest in the state, but well below the national average.
Summit County is in northeast Utah, encompassing park city and much of the surrounding territory. The median annual property tax in the county is $2,243 per year, highest in the state.
The main reason taxes are so high in Summit County is that home values are the highest state. The median home value in Summit County is $485,700. Another possible reason is that a significant share of the residential property in Summit County, which is home to several of the nation’s top ski resorts, is not owner-occupied and does not qualify for the homeowner’s exemption.
Property Tax: Which Counties are Getting the Best Bang for Their Buck
SmartAsset’s interactive map highlights the places across the country where property tax dollars are being spent most effectively. Zoom between states and the national map to see the counties getting the biggest bang for their property tax buck.
Our study aims to find the places in the United States where people are getting the most for their property tax dollars. To do this we looked at school rankings, crime rates and property taxes for every county.
As a way to measure the quality of schools, we calculated the average math and reading/language arts proficiencies for all the school districts in the country. Within each state, these schools were then ranked between 1 and 10 (with 10 being the best) based on those average scores.
For each county, we calculated the violent and property crimes per 100,000 residents.
Using the school and crime numbers, we calculated a community score. This is the ratio of the school rank to the combined crime rate per 100,000 residents.
We used the number of households, median home value and average property tax rate to calculate a per capita property tax collected for each county.
Finally, we calculated a tax value by creating a ratio of the community score to the per capita property tax paid. This shows us the counties in the country where people are getting the most bang for their buck, or where their property tax dollars are going the furthest.
Sources: US Census Bureau 2016 American Community Survey, Department of Education, Federal Bureau of Investigation, State Police or Justice Department websites