The head of the state tax appeals board said a rising number of cases and shrinking budget will lead them to miss their target for decisions on property tax value cases.
“I anticipate that we will not make our May 1 decision deadline,” said Susan Renfro, director of the Board of Tax Appeals. That deadline for ad valorem decisions on property tax disputes is mandated by state law. “We will be a month or six weeks late … I don’t know what the repercussions will be, but the numbers are overwhelming.”
The tax appeals board has six full-time employees to resolve tax dispute with county officials and the State Tax Commission. Renfro said the board laid off an administrative assistant, who helped write some of the tax appeal decisions. The appeals board met the May 1 deadline in 2009, and has been close to that deadline during the past three years. Renfro said the board’s other measures of speedy performance, including having hearings within 90 days of appeals and then issuing decisions within 90 days of hearings, will also slide.
The Board of Tax Appeals is taking $46,600 in holdbacks during the current budget, and Gov. Butch Otter is recommending $59,200 in reductions in their next budget, which would be more than $447,00.
“For small agencies, sometimes these reductions are very difficult,” said Sen. Dean Cameron, R-Rupert. “We’ll work with you the best we can.”
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