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PROPERTY TAXES MAY RISE SUBSTANTIALLY

Residential property taxes are expected to increase substantially this year compared to slight increases in 1990.

In its latest comparison of residential tax burdens, the Utah Foundation reported residential property owners will pay about 1.1 percent more on property taxes in 1991, even if there is no overall increase in property tax receipts.Because of compromise legislation enacted by the 1991 Legislature, some of the property tax burden will shift from state-assessed property owners to locally assessed property owners.

The measure was taken to resolve a property tax crisis created by a July 1990 Utah Supreme Court decision prohibiting discrimination against one class of property because it is assessed by the state instead of by the county.

Owners of locally assessed property are expected to pay higher taxes, an even higher amount in communities with a high proportion of state-assessed property.

In 1990, property tax on a $75,000 home averaged about $731, or 0.97 percent of the home's full value. The average property tax on a $75,000 home in Utah rose 32 percent between 1981 and 1990. Most of this increase occurred in the early years of the decade. The average tax increase since 1985 has amounted to only about 4 percent.

A major factor in the slow growth was a "truth in taxation" law enacted in 1985. The legislation made it more difficult for local officials to raise property taxes in Utah. The laws require that taxpayers be informed of public hearings whenever local governments plan to raise property tax revenues.