Some Park City homeowners being double taxed
Due to a "quirk" in Utah law, according to Summit County Treasurer Corrie Kirklen, 250 Park City properties that are being taxed by the Snyderville Basin Special Recreation District and Park City Municipal will have to continue paying taxes to both recreation districts until the County Courthouse can lobby the legislature to change the law next January. The Park City properties will also have to continue paying their portion of the Snyderville Recreation District Open Space bond that was passed in 2010.
According to Park City Manager Tom Bakaly, the 250 properties were annexed in 2001 yet were never switched in the County’s records. For the past 10 years they have been included in the Basin Recreation District and listed under the County’s municipal tax rate instead of Park City’s, which is slightly higher.
When it comes to separating the properties from the Basin Recreation District, it is not easy Kirklen said, since the Recreation District is coupled with the debt owed on the open space bond and it is currently illegal to decouple them.
"We are doing nothing unlawful right now by having the properties pay the Basin Recreation District Tax," she said. "But if we just let them stop paying it or have them only pay the operational portion and not the bond-debt portion, then we are breaking the law."
In 2011, a homeowner with a property valued at $100,000 paid $51 for the operation portion of the Basin Recreation Tax and $57 for the open space bond.
Summit County Manager Bob Jasper said next January they will meet with the legislature to try to get the law changed so the bond portion of the tax and the operation portion can be separated, allowing the newly annexed properties to only pay the bond portion.
"We met with financial advisors, Park City, bond officers and Basin Recreation and we all figured out there was just no way to remove these properties from the bond debt payment," Jasper said. "It would change the assessed value we gave when applying for the bond and just wouldn’t work. But we don’t feel like this is hugely unfair, after all open space benefits everyone, even Park City residents, and the two entities share trails and other services."
Director of the Snyderville Basin Special Recreation District Rena Jordon said the District will be able to operate at the same service level without the taxes from the 250 parcels and said she wants to be sure that any legislative changes will not set a negative precedent for other special service districts in the future.
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