Personal or Business Property

Overview


All non-exempt tangible personal property is valued and assessed annually by the Personal Property Division of the Assessor's Office. Taxable personal property is primarily that which is used in the operation of a business, mobile homes, aircraft, and motor vehicles. Registered vehicles are assessed a fee at the time of registration. 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 during January. The taxpayer has until May 15th of each year to complete the statement and return it with payment of the tax. 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. Certain types of property and some entities are exempt from 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.

 

Valuation Methodology


The Utah State Tax Commission provides all county assessors with recommended percent-good schedules each year. These schedules are used to equalize the valuation of personal property statewide. Personal property is classified according to its economic life, an appropriate depreciation table is generated and then trended to replacement cost new using Marshall-Swift cost indexes. 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.

 

Appeals


A taxpayer may appeal their personal property valuation to the Cache County Board of Equalization. The appeal must be filed within 30 days of notification of assessment and must include a description of the property, documentation of an alternative value and the methodology used to arrive at that value or a legal brief, if the appeal relates to a legal interpretation of the assessment statutes. All appeals must be in writing and addressed to the Clerk of the Board of Equalization, c/o Cache County Auditor. Decisions of the county board of equalization may be appealed to the Utah State Tax Commission.

 

Audits


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.

 

Exemptions


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 Cache 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.

 

Real and/or tangible personal property of a disabled veteran or their un-remarried surviving spouse and minor orphans may be exempted, depending on the percent of disability.

 

Household furnishings used exclusively at the owner's place of abode are exempt.

 

Additionally, the following types of tangible property are exempt: Livestock, farm machinery and equipment, and inventory held for resale in the normal course of business.