Real property tax bills started hitting Grand County mailboxes last week, and residents can expect to find some significant changes to the content and formats of their bills, according to Grand County Treasurer Chris Kauffman.
The two most significant changes are regarding back taxes and late payments.
Back taxes are unpaid taxes from previous years. If a property owner owes back taxes, the amount is now listed prominently on the bill and is included in the grand total at the bottom. “This change will help to keep taxpayers aware of how much they owe and, by increasing collections, should help to lower tax rates for next year,” Kauffman said.
Property taxes are due on Monday, Nov. 30. If taxes are paid or postmarked after that date, then a late payment penalty of 1 percent ($10 minimum) is also owed. Property owners who find themselves paying late, can now look on the back of the bill to find the new total, including the penalty.
“Every year we have people paying late who don’t include the penalty,” Kauffman said. “The treasurer’s office has to contact them and request additional payment. We hope this change will reduce underpayments and make the process more efficient for everyone.”
The format of the tax bill has also been updated. Increased font sizes, information headings and graphics are all being used to make it easier to read and understand.
“We have to pack a lot of information on the bill, but we have tried to make it as user friendly as possible,” Kauffman said.
Property owners can pay electronically, by phone, by mail or in person. Instructions are listed on the tax bill and at grandcountyutah.net. Credit or debit card and eCheck payments can now be processed at the treasurer’s office, but fees will apply. If a mortgage company is likely to pay the tax for a property owner, this will be indicated on the bill.
Property taxes fund different local government agencies, with about 60 percent going to schools, 30 percent to the county and 10 percent to local/ special service districts and Castle Valley Town. There is no property tax for Moab City, which is funded by sales taxes.
There have been additional improvements at the Treasurer’s office this year, according to Kauffman.
All property owners who owe back taxes will now receive a postcard each December in an effort to keep taxpayers informed and to increase collections.
The office is also responsible for disbursing property taxes to the schools, the county, fire departments and other taxing entities. Those distributions are now happening almost entirely by electronic transfer, which is faster, safer and allows the money to earn more interest. It will also save the time and expense of writing over 400 checks per year.
The treasurer’s website, grandcountyutah.net/138/Treasurer, has also seen updates, with more information about payment options, back taxes, online tax information and how property taxes are used.
For more information, contact the treasurer’s office at 435-259-1338, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Treasurer tries to make information more user-friendly