Do you know if you’re being taxed accurately for the occupancy of your home? Here in Southern Utah, we have two property tax classifications: a primary home and a non-primary home. A primary home means either you or a full-time renter is living in the home as their primary residence. A non-primary home could be a vacation home or a part-time-use home that isn’t anyone’s primary residence. The tax rate for a non-primary home is about 45% higher than the tax rate for a primary home. 

The challenge is that it’s sort of a guilty-until-proven-innocent situation. By that, I mean that in Washington County, they will assume your home is non-primary unless you go through the proper steps to register it as a primary home. Specifically for those of you who have bought a home this year and didn’t go through the correct process, you’ll be getting taxed at that non-primary rate. 

“The tax rate for a non-primary home is about 45% higher than the tax rate for a primary home.”

There are three things you must do to make your home a primary home in the county’s eyes:

1. You have to have a Utah driver’s license with the same address as the house. If you already have a Utah driver’s license, you can simply change the address online.

2. At closing, you have to fill out a form stating that the home is your primary residence and provide it to the Washington County assessor’s office. Hopefully, your title company will have addressed this with you during your home-buying process. If you haven’t already, click here to fill out the form online.

3. Make sure that the listed market value is correct. If the market value shown on your bill is higher than you think, you can dispute the value with the county. Since you’ll need evidence, you may need to get an appraisal so that the county can see what your home’s actual value is; they can’t legally charge you more than the true value of your home.

We hate to see our friends and family pay too much in property taxes, so if you have any questions or need some assistance, feel free to give us a call or send an email. We’d love to be a resource for you.

Please consult a tax advisor for more information. NMLS ID #309670, I am authorized to do business in the state of Utah. Guild Mortgage Company; Equal Housing Opportunity; NMLS #3274. All loans subject to underwriter approval. Terms and conditions apply, subject to change without notice. For more licensing information, please visit Licensing.