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Wednesday, June 24, 2009 Redistricting, Voter Turnout   Volume 5 Issue 6  
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Database of Property Tax Information
by Sara McCormick, CPPA

Property tax is commonly viewed as the most “hated” of taxes. Yet, it remains one of the oldest and most stable revenue sources for local government. As a result the role of the property tax is often the middle of heated legislative debate. In the past two years more than 50 bills have been introduced by the Utah State Legislature to either tweak or completely alter the property tax system in Utah. During this debate obtaining comprehensive and accurate information can be difficult. The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and the George Washington Institute of Public Policy have developed a database to provide accurate property tax information which will help inform future debates.

The data sets and numerous links provide information on property taxes and its role in state and local finance in all 50 states. The interface allows users to access property tax and data online in a variety of forms, including tables of the most frequently sought figures, a query system for creating new tables, and a downloadable database.
lincolninst.edu/subcenters/significant-features-property-tax/

Three general types of descriptive data can be obtained:
  • General characteristics of local taxation of property including rates, special assessments, and limitations on local authorities;
  • Property tax relief and incentive programs including agricultural assessment and economic development programs; and
  • Structural arrangements of the property assessment including the land use types in use to characterize the property tax base.

  • Take a moment to create a report. Find out how Utah taxes personal property in comparison to other states in the Intermountain region or how residential property is assessed differently.

    This data is valuable to a wide variety of users, including journalists, public officials, and researchers. Hopefully, the information will help to increase understanding of property taxes and its components.
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