Posted by Sean Matyja on Friday, September 3rd, 2021 at 1:42pm.

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We often get questions from out-of-state buyers that have heard about Summit County's Primary Residence Tax Exemption. Many potential buyers ask questions regarding how the exemption works with investment property. The below information can be used as a general guide, but be sure to verify any important information (or rule changes) with the Summit County Assessor's office.

The Primary Residence Exemption is an exemption for property owners living in their property full time, or that have rented their property to a single tenant year round. A property that is granted a primary residence exemption is only taxed at 55% of the market value of the home and up to one acre of land. Vacation rentals and second homes do not qualify for the primary residence exemption.

The county is very clear that it is the responsibility of the homeowner to apply for the exemption. Do not assume that if you are in the home full-time, that the county has record of your primary home use. If you recently purchased a home, you likely will have filled out an Application for Residential Exemption at your closing (provided by the title company). Be sure to verify with the County Assessor's office that the correct status has been applied. The submittal deadline for all applications is May 1st of each calendar year. New applicants must occupy the property at least six months of the calendar year to qualify.

Common Questions and Answers:

My Property is rented long term for most of the year but I rent it nightly for the Sundance Film Festival and the ski season, can I still receive the primary exemption?

No. Properties that are rented as vacation/nightly more than 14 nights a year cannot receive the primary residence exemption. According to the Application for Residential Exemption, a renter must have a 12 month lease to qualify. That would cancel out the option to rent separately for Sundance or ski season unless a lease specifically outlined the tenant vacate for certain festival/holiday dates, which of course could not exceed the 14 nights a year.

How is the Primary Exemption figured?

Properties that are granted a primary residence exemption are only taxed on 55% of their market value. Taxes will be figured on the new taxable value. The exemption can only be granted on up to one acre. Any remaining acreage will be taxed at 100% of market value.

How do I apply for residency exemptions?

If you live in the home or condominium full time, you can download and fill out the Application for Primary Residence found on the Summit County website link below.

Follow the instructions on the form to deliver the application with a copy of a current driver's license, to the County Assessor's office. Signed applications must be received before May 1st in the tax year to receive the exemption for that tax year. If the property is rented on a full time basis, you must provide a copy of the current lease along with the signed application. The application also requires a copy of the tenant's Utah driver's license and the address on the driver's license should match the physical address of the property.

How do I know if I am receiving the exemption or not?

A notice of property valuation and tax changes is mailed to every property owner, every year in August. This form states the market value of the property and the property type. For properties granted the primary exemption, the property type will read "Primary Improved Property".

Can I get a refund for past years?

The homeowner has full responsibility to file for the exemption, if they have failed to do so in previous years, there is no refund provision. Please keep in mind, the homeowner is responsible for proving a property is a primary residence and applying for an exemption. Failure to apply for the exemption is a not a mistake on behalf of the county.

Sean Matyja - Realtor® / Associate Broker
Mobile: (435) 901-2158 | Email: 

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