Park City owed taxes
December 6, 2011
Summit County Auditor Blake Frazier said it is still unclear whether it was a technical glitch or human error that caused 260 properties in the Flagstaff area of Deer Valley to continue paying taxes to Summit County despite the 1999 annexation of the area into Park City.
Summit County and Park City staffers have been working together since late August to decide the best way to settle the decade-old tax mix-up. Recently, the Utah State Tax Commission instructed Summit County to send new tax disclosure forms to the 260 properties involved that charge the higher Park City’s municipal tax rate for 2011.
Park City Accountant Bret Howser estimates that with Summit County paying Park City the 2011 municipal taxes already collected, plus the property owners paying the increased amount, Park City will collect around $1.2 million.
"The Utah Tax Commission told us to go back and recollect for 2011, then we will work with the county to figure out what to do about money they collected accidentally from the previous years," Howser said.
Because the 260 properties will now be paying a portion of the Park City’s Debt Service Bonds for 2011, other Park City residents’ property tax rate will be less than they originally paid. Howser said Park City residents will receive new notices in the mail and can choose to either be reimbursed the difference or apply it to their 2012 property taxes.
Summit County Auditor Blake Frazier said the amount of money Park City will refund residents in property taxes is not as much as they are owed by the 260 Flagstaff properties, including the Montage Hotel.
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Frazier added that Summit County will pay Park City $400,000 for the 2011 municipal taxes they collected from the properties and will have to increase the county’s overall municipal tax rate for residents in unincorporated towns for 2012 to balance out the loss.
According to Howser, the County staff was instructed by the Utah Tax Commission to go back and try to reconstruct how much money was collected improperly due to the coding error.
"We don’t expect to really know much from previous years until January or February," Howser said. "But we estimate that over the past four years alone, about $2 million was lost by Park City due to the mix-up."
Frazier and Howser both said it has not yet been determined whether Summit County will write Park City a check for taxes they improperly collected over the past 10 years.