Summit County reverses itself after denying tax-exempt status for property owned by nonprofits
Christian Center, Episcopal Church, Historical Society to receive exemptions
Reversing a previous declaration, Summit County is preparing to offer tax-exempt status to three nonprofits that own millions of dollars worth of property.
The county previously said a handful of nonprofits had failed to submit completed applications by the March 1 deadline to avoid having to pay property taxes.
Auditor Micheal Howard said that miscommunication among staff and an untimely parental leave in the office led to some applications being lost in the shuffle.
“It just got missed,” he said.
Now, the Park City Historical Society, the Corporation of Episcopal Church in Utah and the Christian Center of Park City are set to join the list of more than 100 exemptions granted this year for land owned by nonprofits.
Rob Harter, the Christian Center’s executive director, indicated he was relieved to know that the mix-up hadn’t been on the nonprofit’s end and that they could put it behind them.
“We are relieved to hear the County confirm to us that we had indeed applied for the property tax exemption on time and had not dropped the ball,” he said. “So glad this issue has been resolved.”
Nonprofits are required to apply to the county annually to have their property exempted from taxes. The initial report accompanying the presentation to the County Council earlier this month indicated that five nonprofits had failed to meet the application deadline. The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association and the Roman Catholic Bishop of Salt Lake City were the other two organizations.
A spokesperson for U.S. Ski and Snowboard said the nonprofit would appeal the decision to the state tax commission. The nonprofit’s Center of Excellence was denied tax exempt status after receiving it in the past.
The Roman Catholic Bishop of Salt Lake City received a partial approval, with the county rejecting a significant portion of a 22-acre parcel that sits vacant, determining only 5 acres are tax exempt.
Howard said that his office had mishandled the applications from the Christian Center and Episcopal Church, and that his office had been directed to grant the exemption to the Park City Historical Society, as well.
A spokesperson for the Episcopal Diocese of Utah said the church applied on Feb. 25 and received confirmation at that time.
“When we discovered the listing as having not been filed, we traced it and notified Summit County with the dates and paper trail. The County confirmed the filing being received on that date and resolved it quickly,” said Craig Wirth, the church’s communications director. “We appreciate that Summit County was very responsive and all is fine.”
According to county records, the changes granted tax-exempt status to nearly $9 million of property owned by the three nonprofits.
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Summit County’s sales taxes are beating 2019 levels, with an estimated additional $1.2 million in revenue. Councilors debated using the money to hire more employees.