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Friday, August 15, 2014

Recycling Helps to Save the Landfill (and Taxpayer Dollars!)

The Salt Lake County Recycling Office staff conducted over 120 tours of the Salt Lake Valley Landfill in 2013. Many groups come to see where their garbage goes and discover ways to prevent so much of it from going into the landfill. Our landfill takes in 3 million pounds of garbage per DAY!  That adds up. Many don’t know how valuable our landfill is to our ability to dispose of waste. Without our landfill, what would happen?  One thing for sure – our fees for garbage collection and disposal would be much higher (think 10 times higher).

Salt Lake County residents have a great tool to help preserve our landfill: Recycling! All Salt Lake County residents have the ability to recycle materials from their homes – even people in apartments and condos. Things like plastic bottles, aluminum and steel cans, cereal boxes, newspapers, and moving boxes make up about 60 percent of the waste in our landfill. Imagine the life we could add to our landfill by recycling these things! When we send these things to the landfill, their life is over.

When we make the choice to put something in the recycling bin instead of the garbage container, we give that product new life. For example, plastic soda and water bottles can be recycled into fibers that can be used to make fleece jackets or carpet. It takes about 400 soda bottles to make a fleece jacket.  Those same bottles in the landfill will just take up space and eventually leach chemicals into our environment. Unfortunately, very few plastic water bottles are recycled – The average person uses 167 plastic water bottles per year but recycles only 38.

Recycling is so important to the life of the landfill and to our environment that Mayor McAdams issued a challenge to residents to increase our recycling by 20 percent. Recycling has many benefits including reducing air pollution. A national recycling rate of 30 percent reduces greenhouse gas emissions as much as removing nearly 25 million cars from the road.

So next time you have paper, plastic, metal, or other recyclable items, but them in a recycling bin. (They don't even need to be rinsed out!) For ideas on increasing your recycling, visit our recycling website.

Friday, August 8, 2014

What does the county assessor do??

When I was appointed to the Salt Lake County Council in January of this year, I made a goal to visit with every elected official holding a county office. I have met many fantastic leaders and hard-working county employees who are driven and focused on providing great customer service to residents. Among those elected officials is the county assessor, Kevin Jacobs. Here are some of the things he and his staff does:
  • Lists and maintains records on each piece of taxable "real" and "personal property" in Salt Lake County. (Real Property includes land and buildings. Personal Property includes business furniture and fixtures, business equipment, construction equipment, and manufactured homes.)
  • Responsible for the equitable and fair assessment of all properties in Salt Lake County. Individual real property parcels now number over 350,000 and cover an area of 737 square miles with a market value over $120 billion. There are over 90,000 personal property accounts valued over $5.2billion. These records are all public. Access to these records, excluding motor vehicle private records, is available online and at the office at 2001 South State Street N2300.
  • Determines fair market value for residential, commercial, and other taxable property in Salt Lake County. Fair market value of real property may go up or down depending on the real estate market in the county. Personal Property is valued based on schedules developed by the Tax Commission.
The office has recently been reorganized to better serve the taxpayers. An appeal division was eliminated and appraisers assigned appeals within the geographic area they work. This will better coordinate all types of work for a given area whether new construction, reappraisal, or appeals and taxpayers will better interface with a specific individual. Additionally, they have implemented new regression modeling software, are organizing phone mediation conferences for appeals at the State Tax Commission level, and are in the process of implementing an integrated tax system countywide.

They are the most diverse and yet best performing assessment jurisdiction in the State. They maintain an office of licensed and certified appraisers current in mass-appraisal practices and have received local and national recognition for the assessment work they accomplish.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Property Tax Relief

Recently you may have received your property tax notice in the mail. These notices show all property taxing entities and projected changes in the tax rate. 

There are those in the county who may qualify for tax relief of some sort. Please read below to see if you may qualify for tax relief.

The Salt Lake County Treasurer is responsible for the administration of the five tax relief programs in Salt Lake County.
Within each tax relief program there are specific eligibility requirements that must be met.  The eligibility requirements may change from year to year. Applicants must prove the eligibility requirements are met on an annual basis before tax relief can be granted 
In order to be considered for tax relief, applicants are required to provide tax returns and other proof of income, savings and investment statements, including retirement accounts, doctor's certifications and other relevant material.

The annual application deadline is September 1st. 
Programs and general requirements...
Circuit Breaker - 66 years old or surviving spouse with household income up to $31,208
Indigent - 65 years old or disabled or in extreme hardship with household income plus adjusted assets that do not exceed $31,208
Hardship - Any age in extreme financial hardship with household income plus adjusted assets that do not exceed $31,208 + $4,020/ dependent
Veteran - Disability or Active Duty 
o Disability -Veterans with a service connected disability or the unmarried surviving spouse or minor orphan of a veteran with a service-connected disability or a veteran who was killed in action or died in the line of duty
o Active Duty - Over 200 days of consecutive federal active duty out of the state
Blind - Legally blind in both eyes or the unmarried surviving spouse or minor orphan of a blind person
Please call us the Treasurer's office at 385-468-8300 if you need an application form or have a question.