Bill Aims to Shift Burden of Proof in Some Property Tax Cases

Utah State CapitolSen. Howard Stephenson, R-Draper, says he wants to stop taxing entities from “playing games” with property tax valuations.

 
Stephenson’s SB112 puts the burden of proof on the assessor if, after a property owner appeals an initial valuation, the assessor increases the assessed value.
 
“Some local assessors will say, ‘If you’re gonna protest the valuation out there, I’m gonna put it on higher. That’ll teach you’,” says Stephenson. “We have that kind of thing going on.”
 
Stephenson says it’s not fair for an assessor to increase the valuation after the property owner challenges it.
 
“This has to be addressed. Some county assessors are vindictive if somebody dares to challenge their value,” says Stephenson. “We have cases where that has occurred.”
 
Stephenson says he expects some pushback about the change.
 
I’m sure assessors will be livid about it, but they shouldn’t be able to change horses in the middle of the stream.”