When purchasing property in St George, real estate property tax questions always become a question buyers want information about.
How Much Are Property Taxes in St George Utah?
The exact amount of the taxes varies depending on exactly where you purchase (school district fees and exact rates will vary in different areas). However, as a rule of thumb, you can estimate the taxes at about 1% of the assessed value LESS any exemptions (more on that in a moment). The assessment comes from the county and it is NOT based on your purchase price, however should YOU disclose that price to the assessor they may take that into consideration (Utah is a non-disclosure state so the purchase price does not become public record—this is why venues such as Zillow’s “Zestimate” is typically inaccurate, do not use Zillow Zestimate for property in St George). The assessor will monitor area values and if the values should rise or fall, your property value will be assessed accordingly and you will be sent a summary each year.
My Property Values Have Changed, Why Are My Property Taxes Higher?
A property owners taxes WILL fluctuate from year to year (though typically not a substantial amount). If the values move up, so will your taxes. Ironically, if the property values in St George go down…your taxes may only decrease a very minor amount…if at all. The city has a program in place to protect them from any tax shortage, this way if values substantially fall their budget won’t necessarily be affected. Property can be assessed inaccurately, homeowners should review their tax summary each year where they will see the assessed value and if needed, the homeowner can dispute the value which is a relatively easy process. Homeowners can contact any St George real estate agent (I receive several requests each year) and ask for a few recent comparable sales within the neighborhood. Two or three recent sales that are similar to the property being disputed should be sent in with an “Application for Review of Market Value”. These items should be sent in prior to the city’s yearly deadline if you are attempting to reduce your property tax for the current year (paid each November).
St George Utah Property Tax Rates
Back to the St George property tax calculation; generally the amount is very close to 1% of the assessed value for the current year (as a real estate agent, I always provide my buyers with the current assessed value of any property they have an interest in). If the buyer is planning to make their Washington County home their PRIMARY RESIDENCE, then the home owner will pay only 55% of that tax amount (so they will receive a 45% exemption as a primary resident). If the buyer plans to use the home as a vacation home or a second home, that homeowner will pay 100% of the assessed market value tax.
Do I Qualify For the Primary Residence Exemption?
The plain and simple explanation of “Primary Residence” is…you live in the home. If you have another home elsewhere and plan to split the time somewhat evenly (or you’re looking for the exemption loophole) then the second simplest way to determine which home will be your primary residence is: where will you claim “home” on your taxes? Where will you have a driver’s license? If the answers to these questions are your St George home…then congratulations…you live in St George, you qualify for the primary residence exemption. If you work elsewhere, vote elsewhere, have a driver’s license in another location but you visit your St George home one a week…I’m sorry…this is still considered a “second home” and you’ll be paying full taxes.
Other tax relief programs include: seniors 65+ who make LESS than $30,700 as annual income, veterans who were disabled while in military service and owners who are legally blind. Applications for exemptions can be found on the county assessor’s website.