Commercial Property

General Information

Commercial property tax in Utah is administered by the 29 county governments. The counties’ role begins with the surveying and/or recording of real property ownership records. It continues with the valuation, assessment, and equalization of property values. It ends with the collection of property taxes and the distribution of revenues to the various local governmental entities.

Most commercial real property is handled under the above scenario. However, commercial property that crosses state or county lines, such as railroads, airlines and utilities, as well as mines and natural resources are handled somewhat differently. They are appraised (valued) by the Property Tax Division, and are referred to as “Centrally Assessed Properties.” The division conducts the appraisal process and apportionment of value to the appropriate taxing entities. Appeals of these properties are directly to the Tax Commission, bypassing the county Board of Equalization. All other property tax administrative functions related to these properties are performed by the county offices.

County Offices

Each county has an elected surveyor, recorder, assessor, auditor, treasurer and commission or legislative body. The surveyor and recorder are responsible for creating and maintaining boundary and ownership information. The assessor is responsible for the appraisal and assessment of each property. The auditor applies tax rates and serves as clerk of the Board of Equalization. The Board of Equalization is composed of the county commission or legislative body who hear appeals of the valuations and assessments entered on the tax roll by the assessor. Finally, the treasurer is responsible for collecting the property tax.

Market Value

The county assessor appraises commercial property at 100% of its “fair market value,” which is theoretically the value at which the property would sell for on the open real estate market. In the process the assessor is aiming at uniform valuations, meaning that similar properties should have similar values. The standards of fair market value and uniform valuations are requirements of the Utah Constitution.

Taxable Value

Unless exempt, commercial property is assessed and taxed based on 100% of fair market value.

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