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PROVO — Appraisers across Utah are finishing appraising homes for upcoming property tax notices, and two counties are already reporting significant value increases.

The Utah County appraiser’s office told KSL-TV that the median home value per family has jumped 35% from a year ago.

“Apart from the 2008 bubble, I don’t think this has ever happened before, in my experience,” Utah County deputy chief appraiser Bert Garfield said.

Garfield said that from 2012 to 2020, the average residential property growth in the county was about 10% per year, which is already a high growth rate.

Real estate appraisal is based on how much the home will sell for on January 1st each year. Utah County estimates for 2022 can be viewed online.

The Salt Lake County appraiser’s office said the average residential property value growth in the county was nearly 29% in 2022.

“It’s not typical,” Salt Lake City County Assessor Chris Stavros said.

In comparison, Stavros said residential property growth was 11.7% last year.

Salt Lake County property estimates for 2022 are also available online.

The Utah Taxpayers Association recalled that Utah law makes it so that property tax bills do not jump just because the value jumps.

“In Utah, the rate should be smoothly reduced and basically keep your house taxes from going up just by raising prices,” said Rusty Cannon, president of the watchdog group.

In July, counties are required to send out an official “Notice of Valuation and Tax Changes” to property owners. The notice will include the new appraised value, the proposed tax bill, any tax changes, and details of which tax authorities are trying to raise taxes.

“The beauty of Utah’s Truth in Taxation law is that they have to come and show you in public, notice you and explain why, and not just make a windfall because our property value has gone up,” Cannon said. “That’s why we have such a good system and why other states are now copying it.”

The notice, which must be mailed before July 22, will also include the date, time, and location of the state budget hearings.

“I think most people can expect a modest increase in property taxes,” Cannon said. “Far from what everyone thinks, because in some cases their grades have gone up.”

Some cities and other tax authorities are considering increasing property taxes this year. Cannon encourages people to get involved, attend hearings and speak their minds to elected officials.

“Many of these hearings won’t take place until July or August, so you have plenty of time to contact a city council member and express your dissatisfaction or ask them to explain why,” Cannon said.

Garfield said that if you think the county has mispriced your home, you can appeal on the grounds that your home will not sell for the appraised amount, or that the appraisal is unfair because other comparable properties were valued less, or if there are is an actual error regarding the property.

“We want to do it right,” Garfield said. “We don’t want anyone to be overburdened with taxes because their cost is wrong.”

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