Court mandates tax refund to residents wrongfully assessed for Jordan Bond

Court mandates tax refund to residents wrongfully assessed for Jordan Bond
Posted on 09/14/2011

When Canyons School District was formed, approximately 300 properties located in the northeast corner of Cottonwood Heights were annexed into the new district, even though they had previously been a part of Granite School District. Due to an error in setting up the taxing district for the Jordan Bond Indebtedness, these 300 properties were included in the assessment area and required to pay taxes toward the old bond.

Since late 2009, the issue has bounced between the Salt Lake County Board of Equalization and the Utah State Tax Commission. Eventually the matter was taken to district court to resolve the legal issues being argued.

The case was heard in early June of this year, and later that month the parties agreed on a settlement that was memorialized by an order from the judge. The judge ruled that the properties were wrongfully assessed, that the problem should be corrected for future years and that refunds are to be issued to all who paid their taxes under protest in past years.

Unfortunately, the decision did not come in time to avoid the tax being assessed again in 2011, and the city is encouraging affected residents to pay the tax once again and indicate on the remittance that it is PAID UNDER PROTEST. If the taxes are submitted by a third party or paid online, a letter should be sent to the county treasurer indicating the taxes were paid under protest.

Canyons School District is organizing a process to distribute the mandated refunds. Eligible taxpayers will be able to claim a refund for taxes paid in 2009, 2010 and 2011 to cover the Jordan bond. The city expects specific guidelines to be issued by the Canyons School District in the next three to four months, indicating the process by which property owners may claim a refund.