85-1530 - Centrally Assessed

BEFORE THE UTAH STATE TAX COMMISSION

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XXXXX

                                                                                    :

            Petitioner                                                          :           INFORMAL DECISION

                                                                                    :

v.                                                                                 :           Appeal No. 85-1530

                                                                                    :

PROPERTY TAX DIVISION OF                               :

THE UTAH STATE TAX                                            :

            COMMISSION                                              :

                                                                                    :

            Respondent                                                      :

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STATEMENT OF CASE

            This is an appeal to the Utah State Tax Commission from a decision by the Property Tax Division of the Utah State Tax Commission (Respondent) to reject an amended resolution organizing the XXXXX (Petitioner).

            The Informal Hearing was held on XXXXX in the offices of the Utah State Tax Commission.  XXXXX, Chairman presided over the hearing, with Gary C. Cornia, Commissioner, R. H. Hansen, Commissioner, and Roger O. Tew, Commissioner present.  XXXXX, XXXXX County Assessor, and XXXXX, XXXXX County Attorney, represented the Petitioner.  XXXXX, Assistant Attorney General, represented the Respondent.

FINDINGS OF FACT

            Based on the evidence and the written documentation, the Commission makes the following determinations:

            1.  XXXXX County held an election on XXXXX for the organization of XXXXX.  The results of the election were as follows: 294 voted Yes and 129 voted no.

            2.  The County Commissioners of XXXXX County passed Resolution #1984-7 declaring XXXXX duly organized.  A clause in the resolution excepted "lands owned by the United States of America, and the State of Utah" from the cemetery maintenance district.

            3.  Respondent objected to the Petitioner's enabling resolution and directed Petitioner to amend the original resolution to specify that personal property, even if located on federal or state land, be subject to the cemetery district mill levy.

            4.  Petitioner amended the enabling resolution to include personal property, whereupon Respondent rejected the amended resolution.  Respondent suspected irregularities in the election process and requested a new election.

            5.  Maps submitted by Petitioner are ambiguous and vague and don't lend themselves to answer the issue before the Commission.  However, an intent can be found from documentation submitted that the voters thought they were creating a district and only excluding constitutionally protected property of Utah and United States.  Utah Code Ann. 8-1-1 provides that "any and all property within any cemetery maintenance district . . . shall be benefitted ratably . . . and that all property within any such district shall be assessed equally . . ." All property includes both real and personal property.  The amended resolution clarifies the existing situation.  Another election is not needed.

            6.  Although the Commission finds for the Petitioner, the Respondent is to be commended for its diligence in ensuring that proper procedures were followed.  Legitimate issues were involved and the situation was at best ambiguous.

DECISION

            THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY DECIDED:

            1.  That the Amended Resolution, #1985-12, which declares XXXXX duly organized is valid.

            2.  That Respondent is directed to accept the amended resolution and certify the mill levy.

            DATED this 28 day of January, 1986.

BY ORDER OF THE UTAH STATE TAX COMMISSION.

Mark K. Buchi                                                             Joe B. Pacheco*

Chairman                                                                      Commissioner

R. H. Hansen                                                                Roger O. Tew

Commissioner                                                               Commissioner

Since the hearing on this case, Commissioner Gary C. Cornia has been replaced by Commissioner Joe B. Pacheco*.  Commissioner Pacheco has been duly advised of the facts and circumstances regarding this case and is qualified to sign this decision.

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