By STEPHANIE HUANG
It seems Utah County officials are playing “Where is Waldo?” with the residents of Utah County. More than 3,500 property valuation notices have been returned by the U.S. Postal Service.
“We’re attempting to send them (notices) back out,” said Jim Southerland, chief deputy clerk/auditor. “We are a little leery about sending them out to another address, if it turns out to be wrong. It’s a very difficult task to get these all out there.”
County officials aren’t sure why the notices have been returned.
“We’re working to figure it out. We’ve looked through some of the addresses, and they match up with our computers,” Utah County assessor Claude Richards said. “I haven’t received my valuation notice, and on our computer my address is right.”
Southerland offered a possibility of why the valuation notices may have been returning in greater numbers.
“About two years ago the post office gave us a bulk rate,” he said. “In order to do this, you send out to a private source, and they update addresses. We’re not sure if this has contributed to the increase in returns.”
Returned valuation notices occur for a variety of reasons, among these include moving and expired forwarding addresses.
The valuation notices are important for property owners, because if they do not like the value placed on their property they can appeal. The notices also indicate whether or not taxes will go up.
The deadline for appeals appointments is Sept, 21. These appeals are seen by the Board of Equalization.
“If you’re not happy with the tax rate, go to public hearings and voice your opinions,” Richards said.
Any property owner who has not received their notice can still find out about it. Just because a notice was not received does not mean they will not owe money.
“My first suggestion, if you haven’t received a tax valuation notice, is to call the auditors office as soon as possible,” he said.
Final tax valuation bills are sent out in October and the payments are due by the end of November. “You would think people would want to make sure what their valuation is, because they pay taxes every year,” Southerland said.