Utah County Assessor
The Utah County Assessor is responsible for the equitable and fair assessment of all taxable properties in Utah County. Personal Property is valued based on schedules developed by the Utah State Tax Commission. All non-exempt tangible personal property is valued and assessed annually by the Personal Property Division of the Assessorís Office.
The Personal Property Division is also responsible to assess the value of *motor vehicles, boats, and "manufactured housing" more commonly known as mobile homes. *Registered vehicles are assessed an age-based fee at the time of registration.
Frequently Asked Questions
Taxable personal property is primarily that which is used in the operation of a business. For example: Everything other than real estate used in a business or to produce income. It includes such items as furniture, fixtures, office equipment, appliances, tools, machinery, signs, supplies, and equipment leased by the business. Businesses that require their employees to provide their own equipment need to either report the equipment or provide the County Assessor with a list of the employees.
Personal property is usually considered not permanently affixed to or a part of the real property. Real property generally consists of land and buildings. The International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO) uses two common tests, i.e., the intention of the person who put the item in place and whether the item can be removed from the real estate without damage to the item or the real estate itself. A third "rule of thumb" test is whether the item is serving the building or whether the item is serving the process of production, manufacturing, etc.
All businesses are required to declare their taxable property to the Assessor annually by way of a self-assessing statement. The statements are mailed to all businesses on the tax rolls at the beginning of each year. The taxpayer can file an electronic copy online or fill out a hard copy and return it no later than May 15th, unless otherwise specified on the Confidential Annual Personal Property Tax Statement.
Failure to receive an affidavit does not excuse a person from filing or from the penalties on late returns. Utah law requires the Assessor to place an estimate of value and a penalty of $100 or 10% whichever is greater on the accounts of those businesses which have not returned the affidavit. Statutory citations regarding the assessment of personal property are contained in Title 59, Chapter 2 of the Utah Code.
New businesses should register with the Assessor when taking out a business license to avoid assessment of escaped property taxes. The personal property tax is collected and apportioned to the county, cities, school districts, and other taxing entities to pay for local governmental services.
The affidavit is "self-assessing" which means that the owner lists the equipment used in the business, the year of purchase and the purchase price. The price is multiplied by a depreciation percentage to arrive at a taxable value. These depreciation percentages are supplied by the Utah State Tax Commission and are used statewide.
Personal property is classified according to its economic life. Applying the appropriate percent-good rate for the age and class of the property to the original cost will yield an approximate fair market value for the subject property. Assessors may deviate from the recommended schedules on an individual item of property when provided sufficient documentation to establish an alternative fair market value.
Affidavits for subsequent years will be printed with the equipment previously reported and the updated depreciation already applied. The business owner has only to make adjustments to the market value by adding or deleting the equipment acquired or disposed of during the previous year.
In order to insure compliance with the self-assessing program, random and/or referred audits may be performed by the Utah State Tax Commission Personal Property Auditing Division. The Utah State personal property auditing division performs detailed reviews of financial records and on-site inspections of taxpayers' facilities and compares those results to the statements submitted by the taxpayer. Escaped property, when discovered, may be assessed as far back as five years from the date of discovery. Property willfully concealed, misrepresented, or moved, in order to escape taxation is subject to a penalty equal to the tax on its value (U.C.A. 59-2-309).
If a property owner is dissatisfied with the taxable value of the personal property he or she may appeal by filing an application. For more information on how to file an appeal please call 801-851-8295.
All tangible property, unless exemption is provided for by the Utah Constitution and enacted by the legislature, is taxable. Property owned and used exclusively by a non-profit religious, charitable, or educational institution may be exempted upon application and approval by the Utah County Board of Equalization. Until the exemption is approved by the board, the entity is deemed taxable. Property owned by the Federal, State, or local government is exempt by virtue of its ownership. Property leased to an exempt entity is not considered exempt.
Personal Property Forms and Links
Select the links below to access filing forms for your personal property filing. Deputy Assessors in the Personal Property Division will be happy to help anyone with questions about how to fill out their affidavit.
(NOTE: Some links may be in the .pdf format. You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader to view pdf files. Some web browsers include the Reader plug-in. If you do not have the Reader, it is a free download from the Adobe web site.)