Thursday, November 15, 2007

Machman's Report on last Revenue & Tax Interim Committee before General Session in January

2:55 4. Transparency in Government Finance
• Introduction and Review of Draft Legislation – Senator Wayne L. Niederhauser
• Public Comment “I can’t tell you in words just how much I support this proposal. If all public information is made public you will see a vast reduction in false information coming out and the wastes of time trying to right the wrongs printed due to a lack of the facts. Virtually all the information is already there on-line and it would require only the cost of in house staff tying a ribbon around an existing package of information for easy delivery to us your constituents. The facts are what we need for accountability. When people can not get the facts they tend to fill in the blanks for themselves. And that is generally not a good situation as rumors and false information is usually the result. So I thank Senator Niederhauser for this proposal and we totally support the measure.” D-Bell
• Committee Discussion and Direction for Future Action It passed through the Committee with only four votes not in favor due to cost concerns which was frankly a smoke screen. It will go forward to the General Session. D-Bell

3:25 5. Property Tax Related Legislation
• Introduction and Review of Draft Legislation
This of course is a result of our widespread disaffection with the whole Property Tax situation in Utah, mainly inequitable and oppressive gross property tax bills.
► "Property Tax Assessment Revisions" Amends provision in the Property Tax Act relating to the real property appraisal requirement for County Assessors. It defines terms;
requires County Assessors to use a computer assisted mass appraisal system to conduct its annual updates of property values;
requires them to maintain a record of the last appraisal date for each parcel of real property located within the County assessor’s county on the computer system;
requires an assessor to prepare a five-year plan to comply with the statutory appraisal requirements:
requires assessors to include the last appraisal date for a parcel of property and makes technical changes. Bottom line NOTHING NEW HERE!!
What happened to us this year will likely reoccur next year. We will again hear the three Commissioners and the Assessor’s oft repeated refrain. “It is the law. If you have a beef take it to the legislature. We are only doing what the legislature is telling us we have to do. It is the law and we can’t help it… etc. etc.

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