Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Davis County Tax Cut: You Get What You Vote For

Reading this editorial in the Standard Examiner (h/t Davis County Watch), I cannot help but grimace. As a Democrat in Davis County, I have watched the populace get all worked up over the delusion that a County Commission totally composed of Republicans would not blink at raising taxes, raising fees, and otherwise screwing the public. I have watched the populace get all worked up over a county full of Republican legislators enacting unfunded mandates upon school districts while whining about unfunded mandates from the Federal government (which the Republicans at the Federal level all voted for, also). I have also watched the majority of this same populace labor under the totally unfounded delusion that simply replacing one Republican at convention will change things. So far this public is 0-3 commissioners, and definitely down in the count when it comes to legislators.
What makes me upset is the fact that Democratic candidates have been the ones who have pledged to not raise county taxes, have wanted to have commission meetings during the evening instead of one fruitless sounding board hearing (I would include a link to Chris Martinez' statement about this, but it must have been in his brochure and not on his website), and who have opposed unfunded mandates on the state and federal level. I will keep fighting to change those attitudes, to get people to wake up from this hallucination, and get some diversity of opinion in county government. Until then, county voters have no one to blame but themselves.


Jeremy said...


You are absolutely right. Republicans in Davis County have really lost their right to complain about the crappy leaders they keep giving us. I'm tired of hearing all the whining from Republicans about Davis County's property tax burden.

One party rule brings unoriginal and thoughtless leadership.

Marshall said...

I for one want to know why it has been anywhere between five to ten years since Bountiful had been reassessed and it took a new county assessor to notice. Who was that last county assessor? I just moved to Davis county last year but this just seems beyond weird. If we actually had a real local newspaper instead of the joke that is the Clipper then they might look into it. Just seems some odd that this happened, wonder who was scratching who's back.

Tyler Farrer said...


You always have a "right to complain". You don't think I'd complain if Rob Miller had been elected? Remember who I am!

"[W]hining" is just another duty of an active citizen.


Carol Buckley was the previous Assessor.

See this article about how some home values were assessed. Jeremy ought to know more than most about it. He can give you the reasons why.

Jeremy said...

Fair enough Tyler. I have to admit that I had more than a little fun at the TNT hearing when I announced to everyone around me that as a Democrat I was probably one of the only people there who voted for someone who promised not to raise taxes. It felt good to see the surprised looks on all of the faces of those life-long Republicans seated around me.

Its a bummer that so many people who reflexively vote for the 'R' candidate have no idea that they are voting for the same unoriginal and unchanging Establishment candidates they complain about year in and year out.

Jeremy said...


There are several reasons it has taken so long to do a re-assessment of Bountiful. I'd recommend you contact Davis County Assessor, Jim Ivie with your questions. He can give you substantive answers that I can't get too deep into here. More importantly he can also give you his assurance that it won't happen again. In the very near future technology will allow us to re-assess every property in the county every year and there won't be the huge apparent increases people in Bountiful and Kaysville saw this year. Centerville and West Bountiful are on the list for next year. If you live in those cities keep a close eye on property sales in your neighborhood and next year's assessment notices.

If you ever have any questions about the assessment process give our office a call and ask for me (Jeremy) or come in and I'd be happy to talk to you about it. Any blogger who wants help appealing their assessment is also welcome to come visit...I'll do whatever I can to personally help you out.

Jeremy said...


Sorry to inundate your post with comments but I had to add one more.


I just read the article you linked. It is important to remember that in an area like Foxboro, which is a PUD, all of the common area and amenities are included in each parcel's land value. Excess land beyond the size of a common building lot is valued at a much lower rate than the primary lot in large PUDs. This still doesn't fully explain the lame $100k value on every parcel but it does go part way. Mr. Ivie's description of our efforts to avoid factoring also partially explains what has happened in that neighborhood. If we can use roughly uniform increases or decreases in land values to keep a neighborhood at market value we are usually more consistently correct in our assessments than when a percentage factor has to be applied then re-applied each year. Increasing uniform land values based on market data is a lot easier to explain to taxpayers than factoring...but that isn't supposed to be included in our reasoning :-)

Marshall said...

Did anyone read the editorial in the clipper calling for a regressive tax model for property taxes? I could barely keep my lunch down reading it. I wonder if this is serious or someone put Rolf up to it.

Truth or Dare?

Rolf: Dare

Write the most idiotic property tax proposal.

Rolf: Done

Jeremy said...


The sad thing is that I don't think it was a joke or a dare. He doesn't see the regressivity in his proposal and he really does think it is a great idea to place a higher portion of the tax burden on neighborhoods or parcels which aren't appreciating in value.