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23,384 in Davis to get property-tax discounts

Those with more than a 24% hike are eligible

FARMINGTON — For 23,384 eligible property owners in Davis County, the property tax bills going in the mail include a discount.

Those are the properties, located mostly in Bountiful, Farmington, North Salt Lake and Kaysville, that county officials say saw more than a 24 percent increase in values since 2005.

This year, skyrocketing values and four property-tax increases led to higher-than-expected tax bills for residents in the four cities.

A subsequent outcry spurred county officials to take action by hiring more employees for the Davis County Assessor's Office and purchasing software to make appraisals easier on residents in 2008.

They also came up with the tax discount.

Those 23,000-plus eligible properties will be sharing a total of $5.76 million that Davis County, the Davis School District, Bountiful, the Weber Basin Water Conservancy District and Davis Mosquito Abatement District were entitled to collect.

Instead, the taxing entities decided to forgo some of the tax revenue they would have received from new properties and put it toward a one-time tax discount, known as an equity abatement.

For every $20,000 in value above a 24 percent increase over the past year, properties will receive a $100 discount.

But there are certain restrictions.

"If you have property associated with greenbelt, we stripped all of those out," Lee told county commissioners Thursday. "They already have a discount."

To qualify, homes must have been built before 2006.

The average abatement is $212, said Jonathan Lee, a chief deputy in the Clerk/Auditor's Office. But abatements range from $1,400 to $5.

Just fewer than 1 percent of eligible properties will receive $1,000 or more, according to Lee's data.

Of the eligible properties, 50 percent are in Bountiful, 16 percent are in Farmington, 11 percent are in North Salt Lake and 6 percent are in Kaysville. The remaining 17 percent are located in the rest of the cities in Davis County.

Numbers still aren't set in stone, Lee said, because some of the property value appeals filed this year haven't been finalized yet.

Once that happens, a corrected bill will be sent to those property owners.

The outcry over property values and taxes this year also spawned a surge of appeals this year, not only in Davis County, but in Salt Lake and Utah counties as well.

For Davis County residents to claim their abatement, they must fill out the prepaid postcard that will arrive with the tax bill.

Any property owners who don't receive a postcard and believe their properties qualify for the abatement may download an abatement application form from the county's Web site after Nov. 5. The deadline for turning in equity abatement applications is Dec. 14.

"After that, all of the money will be spent," Lee said.

Property taxes are due Nov. 30.