Personal Property, A Basic Overview
All tangible property, unless an exemption is provided for by the Utah Constitution and enacted by the legislature, is valued and assessed annually by the Personal Property Division of the Assessor’s Office and is therefore taxable. The Utah State Tax Commission defines tangible personal property as material items such as watercraft, aircraft, motor vehicles, furniture and fixtures, machinery and equipment, tools, dies, patterns, and stock in trade (including supplies, materials in process, and other similar items) as well as outdoor advertising structures and manufactured homes.
In Utah, certain items of property are treated as personal property that would otherwise be classified as real estate, e.g., bank vaults, pneumatic tubing at bank drive up windows, safety deposit boxes, night deposit boxes at banks, floor safes, drive-up teller windows, overhead cranes, brick kilns and ovens, underground gasoline tanks, walk-in coolers, car wash equipment, signs, and flagpoles.Business Personal Property
Such tax is levied against all business assets including, but not limited to: telephones, copiers, trade fixtures, signage, furniture, equipment, machinery, and other like personal property owned and/or used in connection with the “business” as of January 1st of each year.
All businesses are required to declare their taxable property to the Assessor annually by way of a self-assessing statement. Each year a request to file a Signed Statement will be sent to the business to report the value of their personal property assets based on acquisition cost. New businesses should register with the Assessor when taking out a business license to avoid assessment of escaped property taxes. The personal property tax is collected and apportioned to the county, cities, school districts, and other taxing entities to pay for local governmental services.Primary Residential Exemption For Personal Property
Utah State Legislature House Bill 67- Primary Residential Exemptions for Personal Property in Qualified Residential Property (59-2-103)
The 45% primary residential exemption is applied to household furnishings, furniture and equipment owned by the owner of a dwelling unit that is used exclusively as the primary residence of a tenant. It is the landlord’s (not the tenant’s) property that is exempt.
- Residential Property means property used for residential purpose as a primary residence.
- Residential Rental Property household furnishing, furniture and equipment qualify for the primary residential exemption under 59-2-103(30)(a) if:
- It is used exclusively within a dwelling unit that is the primary residence of a tenant.
- Owned by the owner of the dwelling unit that is the primary residence of a tenant.
- The exemption does not include property used for transient residential use (59-2-103(32)(b)(ii)).
Utah Code in Title 59 requires the taxation of property for the funding of local government and Utah schools. Property tax is assessed on both real property and personal property. Generally, personal property used in a business is subject to property taxes. Utah law requires business personal property to be reported to the county assessor where the property is located (has situs) on a tax form identified as a Personal Property Signed Statement. Personal Property is taxed based on its taxable value as of January 1 of each year. In order to value personal property, the Utah State Tax Commission provides personal property classification schedules which are used by all county assessors in Utah.
Personal Property is valued using a classification system referred to as “Recommended Personal Property Valuation Schedules”. These schedules identify various types of personal property and provide a “percent good” of acquisition cost for commercial personal property. These valuation schedules provide a factor to be applied to acquisition cost (refer to the Definition of Acquisition Cost below) and acquisition year to determine taxable value. Once taxable value is determined, the local tax rate is applied to calculate the tax due.
Personal Property Legislative Code
Tangible Personal Property Exemption-(Utah Code 59-2-1115 (2)(a)) “The taxable tangible personal property of a taxpayer is exempt from taxation if the taxable tangible personal property has a total aggregate taxable value per county of $15,000 or less.”
Personal Property Filing Deadline-(Utah Code 59-2-306(2)(a)) A signed statement "shall be filed on or before May 15 of the year statement ... is requested by the county assessor."
Late Filing Penalty-(Utah Code 52-2-307) "Each person who fails to file the signed statement required by section 59-2-306 ... shall pay a penalty equal to 10% of the estimated tax due but not less than $25 for each failure to file a signed and complete statement."
Late Filing Penalty-(Utah Code 52-2-307(2)(b)) "The penalty under Subsection (1)(a) ... may not be imposed until 30 days after the postmark date of mailing of a subsequent reminder notice." That subsequent reminder notice will be mailed in a timely manner prior to the filing deadline of May 15, 2020 ... therefore the late filing penalty will be "applied to all accounts that have not filed by May 15, 2020. The penalty is not appealable."
Non-Capitalized Personal Property-(Utah Code 59-2-108(1)(c)) "Non-capitalized personal property" means an item of tangible personal property:(i) that has an acquisition cost of $1,000 or less; and (ii) with respect to which a deduction is allowed under Section 162 or Section 179, Internal Revenue Code, in the year of acquisition, regardless of whether a deduction is actually claimed.
For 2020, a business with an aggregate taxable value of $15,000 or less may be exempt from personal property tax. This exemption applies to the total value of all Personal Property owned and/or used by the business in Weber County. If you have more than one business location in Weber County under the same business ownership, the exemption is applicable only if the total value of all property owned by such entity is less than $15,000. To qualify for this exemption, you must still file. (Utah Code 59-2-1115 (2)(a)) “The taxable tangible personal property of a taxpayer is exempt from taxation if the taxable tangible personal property has a total aggregate taxable value per county of $15,000 or less.”
Beginning in 2020, a business that has filed and qualified for the personal property tax exemption for five (5) consecutive years is not required to file a business personal property signed statement with the Assessor’s Office. Please note: The Weber County Assessor’s Office will notify you if your business has filed and qualified for the exemption for five (5) consecutive years. Utah Code Ann. 59-2-1115 (4)(c) states, “If a taxpayer qualifies for an exemption … for five consecutive years and files a signed statement for each of those years …, a county assessor may not require the taxpayer to file a signed statement for each continuing consecutive year for which the taxpayer qualifies for the exemption.”
Property owned and used exclusively by a non-profit religious, charitable, or educational institution may be exempted upon application and approval by the Weber County Board of Equalization. Until the exemption is approved by the board, the entity is deemed taxable.
Property owned by the Federal, State, or local government is exempt by virtue of its ownership. Property leased to an exempt entity is not considered exempt.
Additionally, the following types of tangible property are exempt: livestock, farm machinery and equipment, and inventory held for resale in the normal course of business.
A penalty of $25 or 10% of the estimated tax due, whichever is greater, is assessed when a taxpayer fails to file a statement of personal property on or before May 15, 2020. Property willfully concealed, misrepresented, or moved, in order to escape taxation is subject to a penalty equal to the tax on its value.
(Utah Code 52-2-307) "Each person who fails to file the signed statement required by section 59-2-306 ... shall pay a penalty equal to 10% of the estimated tax due but not less than $25 for each failure to file a signed and complete statement."
(Utah Code 52-2-307(2)(b) "The penalty under Subsection (1)(a) ... may not be imposed until 30 days after the postmark date of mailing of a subsequent notice." That subsequent notice will be mailed in a timely manner prior to the filing deadline of May 15, 2020 ... therefore the late filing penalty will be "applied to all accounts that have not filed by May 15, 2020. The penalty is not appealable."
Accounts not satisfied by May 15, 2020 will be subject to interest at the rate of 7.75% annually.
Non-Capitalized Personal Property
(UTAH CODE ANN. 59-2-108)
Class 28: Non-Capitalized Personal Property: Non Capitalized Personal Property is an item of machinery, equipment, furniture, computers, or any other tangible personal property that the acquisition cost has been totally expensed or written off in the year of acquisition. Any item of personal property whose acquisition cost is or has been depreciated using MACRS, Straight Line, or ACRS over several years for federal tax purpose does not qualify as being treated as Non-Capitalized Personal Property (Class 28)
“Non Capitalized Personal Property “ is an item of personal property that meets the following criteria:
- Has an acquisition cost of $1,000 or less;
- Is claimed as allowed on a federal tax return as a deductible expense under Section 162 or Section 179, Internal Revenue Code, in the year of acquisition.
- All classes or Property qualify for the election to Class 28(Non-Capitalized Personal Property).
- Any person who elects to designate personal property as “Non-Capitalized Personal Property” under Class 28 would need to provide proof of the acquisition cost of all non-capitalized personal property if selected for State Audit in accordance to Utah Code Ann. 59-2-306(3).
- Any person who sells or disposes an item of taxable tangible personal property which has been designated as Non-Capitalized Personal Property or Class 28 must continue to pay taxes on such property until it reaches the 4th year on the Class 28 schedule.
- Any person who elects to designate personal property as Non-Capitalized Personal Property or Class 28 property may not appeal the value of the property determined by the Class 28 Schedule.
- An election to use Non-Capitalized Personal Property or Class 28 may not be revoked or transferred to any other Recommended Personal Property Valuation Schedule.
Any Taxpayer dissatisfied with the taxable value may appeal by filing an application no later than May 15, 2020. Appeal forms may be obtained online or from the Weber County Auditor's office, 2380 Wash. Blvd. STE 320 Ogden, Utah 84401. Appeal must be received no later than May 15, 2020.
In order to ensure compliance with the self-assessing program, random and/or referred audits may be performed by the assessor. The audit section of the personal property division performs detailed reviews of financial records and on-site inspections of taxpayers' facilities and compares those results to the statements submitted by the taxpayer. Escaped property, when discovered, may be assessed as far back as five years from the date of discovery. Property willfully concealed, misrepresented, or moved, in order to escape taxation is subject to a penalty equal to the tax on its value.
Cost of Acquisition must include all costs required to put an item into service. In addition to the cost of the item, include the following costs:
Freight in, includes shipping costs, loading at origin, unloading at destination, crating, skidding, and other applicable costs of shipping.
Installation, engineering, rigging, erection or assembly to include foundations, pilings, utility connections and any other costs related to installation.
Excise and sales taxes.
Any other costs related to putting personal property into service are to be included in acquisition cost.
Indirect costs such as debugging, licensing fees, permits, insurance or security are not included in acquisition cost.
Supplies on hand as of January 1st are to be valued and assessed at total cost including freight-in. Supplies on hand include: all office supplies, shipping supplies, maintenance supplies, replacement parts, lubricating substances, fuel, and consumable items not held for sale in the ordinary course of business.
"Property" means property which is subject to assessment and taxation according to its value, but does not include moneys, credits, bonds, stocks, representative property, franchises, goodwill, copyrights, patents, or other intangibles.
Every class of property defined as property which is the subject of ownership and not included within the meaning of the terms "real estate" and "improvements".
Percent Good Schedule:
A schedule used to calculate the approximate remaining value of an item of personal property. Multiplying the appropriate percentage from the table, based on the class of property and its age, by the historical cost will yield the percent good, or remaining value.
"Escaped property" means any property, whether personal, land, or any improvements to the property, subject to taxation and is: inadvertently omitted from the tax rolls, assigned to the incorrect parcel, or assessed to the wrong taxpayer by the assessing authority;
Undervalued or omitted from the tax rolls because of the failure of the taxpayer to comply with the reporting requirements of this chapter; or
Undervalued because of errors made by the assessing authority based upon incomplete or erroneous information furnished by the taxpayer.
Property which is undervalued because of the use of a different valuation methodology or because of a different application of the same valuation methodology is not "escaped property."
Property Willfully Concealed:
Any property found to be willfully concealed, removed, transferred, or misrepresented by its owner or agent in order to evade taxation is subject to a penalty equal to the tax on its value, and neither the penalty nor assessment may be reduced or waived by the assessor, county, county Board of Equalization, or the commission, except pursuant to a procedure for the review and approval of waivers adopted by county ordinance, or by administrative rule adopted in accordance with Title 63, Chapter 46a, Utah Administrative Rulemaking Act.
Manufactured homes are appraised according to their market value. Market value is estimated using either the sales comparison or cost approach to value. Once market value is established, taxes are assessed according to the tax rate in each tax district. Such tax is collected and apportioned to the county, cities, school districts, and other taxing entities to pay for local governmental services.
Any Taxpayer dissatisfied with the taxable value may appeal by filing an application no later than 60 days after the mailing of the tax notice. Appeal forms may be obtained online or from the Weber County Auditor's office, 2380 Wash. Blvd. STE 320 Ogden, Utah 84401. Appeal must be received no later than 60 days after the mailing of the tax notice
For information regarding value, tax due, and property characteristics, please visit our online Mobile Home Property Search.
For information regarding move permits and/or tax clearances, please contact our office at 801-399-8572.
Motor vehicles are assessed one of two uniform fees depending on the classification of the vehicle.
Vehicles subject to age-based uniform fees include: passenger vehicles, motor homes, off highway recreational vehicles, motorcycles, travel trailers, vessels under 31 feet in length, tent trailers, truck campers, small motor vehicles, non-commercial trailers and personal watercrafts.
All other vehicles (not listed above) are subject to the uniform fee in lieu of property tax (value based fee). Examples of value based vehicles include: medium and heavy duty trucks, commercial trailers and vessels 31 feet or longer. Schedules for vehicles subject to the fee in lieu of property tax are developed from samples of sales published in valuation guides such as N.A.D.A., PRIMEDIA, ABOS Marine Blue Book, etc.
For more information on fee schedules, please visit dmv.utah.gov/register/uniform-fees.