Wasatch County taxpayers may be left with a big due bill due to “typo”

Dec 7, 2019, 7:33 AM
A meeting of the Wasatch County Council broke some bad news to taxpayers: a typo that could cost them for years to come.

A seemingly random typo, in the second it took to hit “enter,” erroneously over-valuated a single home in an unincorporated area of Wasatch County and now may wind up costing innocent county taxpayers dearly over the next few years.

The home in question, a 1,570-square-foot house built on two acres in 1978, actually only has a 2019 taxable value of $302,000, according to county property records.  According to The Deseret News, the home was recorded in 2019 tax rolls with a market rate value of more than $987 million, with an overestimate of about $543 million in taxable value.

A meeting back in early November brought what is believed to have been a clerical error to light.  Some believe the clerk possibly dropped a cell phone on the keyboard while entering the data, and now taxpayers may be on the hook for what might be years to come.

The error has caused a countywide overvaluation of more than $6 million, resulting in revenue shortfalls in five different Wasatch County taxing entities.

Wasatch County officials are apologizing to taxpayers, and promise to review policies and procedures hoping to prevent similar costly mistakes in the future.  They’re also warning residents that taxpayers may see increased tax rates for upwards of three years to help make up for the lower amount collected in 2019 after budgets had already been approved anticipating the windfall of $6 million that was configured in error.  County officials are working with the Utah State Tax Commission to figure out what to do.

A tax correction notice sent out by the county shows a budget shortfall of more than $1 million, which County Manager Mike Davis says will be offset with fund balance reserves to be recouped by rate increases in future years.  Fire services, the parks and water departments will all be short hundreds of thousand dollars each, according to that notice.

The Wasatch County School District will suffer the biggest blow, short nearly $4.5 million, which will have a significant impact, although teacher and staff salaries will not be impacted this year, according to district spokesman John Moss.

Davis first noticed the costly error the first weekend of November when a citizen requested a property tax list and noticed the valuation looked way off.  Davis says he then launched his own investigation and discovered the Assessor’s Office error, leading to the council’s call for the November 4th emergency meeting.



Today’s Top Stories

All News

Image of the firearm used in the Swap meet shooting in WVC (Photo courtesy of Ben Braun)...
Chandler Holt

Shots fired at indoor swap meet in West Valley City

A shooting in West Valley City injured two and left two crime scenes. The incident took place at an indoor swap meet in the area of 1500 W 3500 S.
15 hours ago
coronavirus aid package congressional races utah...
Alex Rogers, Clare Foran, Ali Zaslav and Manu Raju, CNN

Senate passes Democrats’ sweeping health care and climate bill

Democrats drove their election-year economic package toward Senate approval early Sunday, debating a measure with less ambition than President Joe Biden’s original domestic vision but that touches deep-rooted party dreams of slowing global warming, moderating pharmaceutical costs and taxing immense corporations.
15 hours ago
President Joe Biden speaks about Ukraine in the East Room of the White House, Tuesday, Feb. 15, 202...
Donald Judd, CNN

President Joe Biden officially cleared to emerge from isolation following rebound Covid-19 case

 President Joe Biden was officially cleared to emerge from isolation Sunday after a second negative Covid-19 test, his physician announced.
15 hours ago
Curt Gresseth

Subaru Outback outscores other midsize cars in new side-crash test

The 2022 Subaru Outback outscored six other midsize sedans in an updated side-crash test, which more accurately reflects real-world conditions than the previous test.
15 hours ago
dead fish at a small tributary of the Klamath River, near Happy Camp, California, on August 5, 2022...
By Raja Razek and Christina Maxouris, CNN

Thousands of dead fish are washing up along a California river. It’s because of a massive wildfire and flash floods, the Karuk Tribe says

"Tens of thousands" of dead fish have washed up along the Klamath River in the area of Happy Camp in northern California this week.
2 days ago
salt lake flooding...
Simone Seikaly

UPDATE: Flooding, road closures, and power outages in SLC

Rocky Mountain Power reports that more than 3,490 customers are without power in the 84115, 84106, 84105, and 84119 zip codes.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Wasatch County taxpayers may be left with a big due bill due to “typo”