Utah releases online tool to make home valuations more transparent

Jul 27, 2023, 1:36 PM | Updated: 6:31 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — As home prices have risen in recent years, many homeowners have found themselves paying more in property taxes even if their mortgage rate remains the same.

After finding that current procedures in Wasatch and Summit counties are “insufficient to ensure uniform and equal tax treatment of properties” earlier this year, the state auditor’s office has released a new online tool to give homeowners easier access to information about their property assessments and to compare the change in home value to similar homes in the area.

“The release of the new property values tool brings greater transparency to Utah taxpayers,” Utah Auditor John Dougall said in a statement. “The Utah Constitution requires uniform and equal treatment of properties in Utah. This tool will help Utahns better monitor that effort.”

The tool, which can be found at transparent.utah.gov, includes map overlays showing the increase or decrease of homes in all but a few counties. Wasatch and Summit counties are among those that did not provide data.

“Unfortunately, some assessors do not welcome greater access to public assessment data,” Dougall said. “I’m concerned with those county officials who create barriers, making it difficult or costly for taxpayers to access, analyze, and use public information. Over the past couple of years, Wasatch and Summit County property owners expressed concerns with inequitable assessment in their counties. Yet their assessors failed to provide public information for this tool.

“Every Utahn should be troubled by those who struggle to effectively perform their constitutional duty and shun public engagement and oversight.”

County assessors provided the data to the auditor’s office, and the tool was launched to coincide with the release of this year’s notices of valuation.

“The public needs a tool like this, bringing transparency to the property valuation process and highlighting the critical work done by assessors across the state of Utah,” said Chris Stavros, assessor for Salt Lake County.

All of the data for the 2023 tax year was submitted after May 22, and residents can view how recent their valuation is by clicking on their parcel of land on the map.

The 2023 valuations are preliminary and won’t be finalized until later this fall. Homeowners can appeal valuations through the county board of equalization up to 45 days after receiving the valuation notice in the mail.

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Utah releases online tool to make home valuations more transparent