BOARD OF EQUALIZATION
MINUTES
December 23, 1997



PRESENT: Commissioner David J. Gardner, Chair
Commissioner Gary R. Herbert, Vice-Chair
Commissioner Jerry D. Grover

OTHERS PRESENT: David Shawcroft, Deputy County Attorney
Brenda Allen, Equalization and Abatements
Claude Richards, Assessor
Mardene Barker, Assessor's Office
Barbara Gordon, Assessor's Office
Tom Boley, Assessor's Office
Carole Crump, Assessor's Office, DMV
David Swan, State Tax Commission
Robert L. Beckstrand,
Richard Skeen, IHC Hospital
Bryant Lam
Lee Brown
Jerry Spanos
Richard W. Evans, Heritage Schools
Deborah Craig
Robert S. Smead
A. Allan Zabel, Tongan United Methodist Church
Sione N. Fungalei, Reverend Tongan United Methodist Church
Al Brodiscrk
Wayne Patterson

Commissioner Gardner called the Board of Equalization of Utah county, Utah, to order at 11:05 a.m. in Room 1400 of the County Administration Building and welcomed those present. The following matters were discussed:

1. APPROVAL OF BOARD OF EQUALIZATION MINUTES FOR NOVEMBER 28, 1997

Commissioner Grover made the motion that the minutes of November 28, 1997 be approved as presented. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Herbert and carried with the following vote:

AYE: David J. Gardner
Gary R. Herbert
Jerry D. Grover

NAY: None

2. URAL BURKE - GREENBELT APPEAL: 36:567:0001
This agenda item was continued from the September 17, 1997 BOE meeting. This was ap-pealed to the State Tax Commission to request a waiver of production. Commissioner Grover noted the State Tax Commission does not do production determinations; but only a waiver from agricultural production. He felt the wording in the communication from the State Tax Commission was mis-leading. The State Tax Commission did grant the waiver due to illness.

Commissioner Grover made the motion that Greenbelt for Ural Burke be maintained based on the waiver of agricultural production granted by the state. He also recommended that a follow-up letter be written to the State asking for clarification. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Herbert and carried with the following vote:

AYE: David J. Gardner
Gary R. Herbert
Jerry D. Grover

NAY: None

3. INTERMOUNTAIN HEALTH CARE HOSPITAL - CLARIFICATION OF TAX EXEMPT STATUS: 19:063:0048
Richard Skeen said this is a situation where they filed an affidavit for tax exemption in a timely manner in connection with property obtained from Granite Furniture. This facility underwent substantial remodeling and is now being used entirely for hospital purposes, including family residence, education and dialysis. When the affidavit was filed in 1996 the property was being remodeled and was taxable. As of January 1, 1997 the property was being used for hospital purposes; however, there was an error on the serial number when the affidavit was filed. They are now requesting that the matrix be amended to correct the number from 19:063:0039 to 19:063:0048. Agreed there were no issues on the other serial numbers. Dave Shawcroft noted there should be clarification that this situation resulted from an error and the tax exempt status should be effective for 1997.

Commissioner Grover made the motion to grant tax exempt status on parcel no. 19:063:0048 as identified by Mr. Skeen and as reviewed in the minutes. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Herbert and carried with the following vote:

AYE: David J. Gardner
Gary R. Herbert
Jerry D. Grover

NAY: None

4. PROVO CANYON SCHOOL - PERSONAL PROPERTY: 4423
Commissioner Grover asked if the Provo Canyon School had met with the State Tax Commission to try to resolve the differences. David Swan indicated that the Provo Canyon School had stated they had disposed of a considerable amount of equipment and the State Tax Commission has asked for verification of which equipment was disposed of and the date. The school had indicated they had only $14,000 worth of equipment on the site as of January 1; however, they filed for $450,000. They have not received any response at this point and had not expected this to come before the Board of Equalization. Commissioner Grover expressed the opinion that this was curious that the school would have a general ledger account which only has items crossed out which are supposed to reflect items they still have. Mr. Swan agreed that it was puzzling as the school had provided a very detailed asset listing as of September 17, 1997 which was the basis for the audit. At that time the auditor went through the items listed and verified they were in existence. He said they have not received enough information to justify adjusting the audit.

Commissioner Grover made the motion that the request for audit adjustment made by Provo Canyon School be denied without prejudice based on the lack of information. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Herbert and carried with the following vote:

AYE: David J. Gardner
Gary R. Herbert
Jerry D. Grover

NAY: None

5. JEAN M. MORRIS - PRIMARY RESIDENCE STATUS: 52:342:0010
This matter involves the question of whether Ms Morris' home at Sundance is considered to be her primary residence. She is a registered voter and does have a Utah Driver's license. Grover noted that Rule 84-24-B52, has 17 factors or objective evidence to determine domicile. He recommended that the BOE send a request to Ms. Morris with the list and ask her to submit any information she may have to support her domicile. Noted that all 17 of the factors do not have to be met. The Board could then make a determination on the provided information.

Commissioner Grover made the motion that Agenda Item #5 regarding the primary residence status of Jean M. Morris be continued without date, and that Brenda Allen officially requests Ms. Morris to provide information supporting her request as enumerated in RA84-24-B-52. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Herbert and carried with the following vote:

AYE: David J. Gardner
Gary R. Herbert
Jerry D. Grover

NAY: None

6. ROBERT L. BECKSTRAND - MOTOR VEHICLE: VIN#154GX58Y4SC679889
Mr. Beckstrand indicated the vehicle in question was assessed on December 4, 1997 at $23,160 for market value. He purchased this 1995 Grand Cherokee vehicle from Dan Eastman in November, 1996 for $22,950 and could purchase one today with 33,000 for $18,995. He presented documentation from several dealers establishing the vehicle closer to $19,000. The Board of Commissioners agreed there was a wide disparity in the valuation of vehicles; however, this board only has the ability to adjust for body damage or a salvage vehicle that may not be considered in the Blue Book. The Blue Book states the retail value for the vehicle is $23,725. Carole Crump explained the taxes are based on the value as of January 1, 1997, so the value stated in December of 1997 would be considerably less. Mr. Beckstrand expressed the opinion this was not a fair method to determine valuations. The Commissioners agreed, but stated they had no power to make adjustments and the laws would need to be changed to make the valuations more equitable. Mr. Beckstrand stated he intended to publish a letter in the local newspaper if he did not get some results at this meeting and the Commissioners agreed this would be a positive action.

Commissioner Grover made the motion that since there was nothing wrong with the vehicle that would diminish the value according to the Blue Book that they deny the appeal for adjustment of property taxes for Motor Vehicle #154GZ58Y4SC679889 based on limitations set by the State schedules. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Herbert and carried with the following vote:

AYE: David J. Gardner
Gary R. Herbert
Jerry D. Grover

NAY: None

7. TONGAN UNITED METHODIST CHURCH - APPEAL FOR TAX EXEMPT STATUS FOR 1997 AND 1998: 19:048:0067 AND 19:048:0036
Mr. Allen Zabel introduced himself as the attorney representing the Tongan United Methodist Church and introduced Reverend Sione Fungalei. Commissioner Grover indicated the church did not own the property on January 1, 1997 which is the date the taxes are assessed so the property would not be eligible for tax exemption for 1997. However, the church could file for tax-exempt status for 1998. Mr. Zabel remarked the exemption is a constitutional exemption; therefore it should apply the moment the church acquired possession of the property. Commissioner Grover explained that the owner of the property as of the lien date of January 1 was responsible for the taxes; however, a buyer is responsible for any taxes attached to the property. If it was not a religious organization as of January 1, it would not qualify. Dave Shawcroft said the statute is clear that the qualification for exempt status is determined by ownership as of January 1. The property does not qualify if acquired after that date. The most they could consider would be for 1998 and regarding that, there is an admission in the material supplied that the property is not currently used for religious purposes but their future plan is to do so. Until it is actually used for religious purposes, it does not qualify for tax exempt status even for 1998 until it is put in to use by January 1, 1998. One parcel is a very small vacant lot. The other parcel has buildings which need to be modified for religious purposes. Reverend Fugalei explained he is supposed to move into the house as soon as it is modified; however, they have no money for this now. He said they currently use the property for choir practice and allow members to sleep there to help care for the property. Commissioner Grover asked if they had received the 501-C3 letter from the IRS.

Commissioner Grover made the motion that the tax exempt status for 1997 be denied on the properties in question. He also made the motion that they accept the tax exempt status for 1998 based on receipt of evidence of the 501-C3 and a subsequent filing which indicates the use as of January 1, 1998. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Herbert and carried with the following vote:

AYE: David J. Gardner
Gary R. Herbert
Jerry D. Grover

NAY: None

8. HERITAGE SCHOOLS, INC., TAX EXEMPT STATUS: 17:051:0039, 17:057:0036 AND PERSONAL PROPERTY #12757
Mr. Richard Evans spoke on behalf of Heritage Schools. Mr. Evans indicated the CFO was ill and had called him at the last minute to ask him to represent the school. He was not familiar with the issues in question. Commissioner Grover remarked the school had filed for tax exempt status; however, the application does not contain the copies of the federal income tax returns for previous years, financial statements, list of paid staff, etc. In addition, the parcel information recorded with the county is not the same as the information on the deed. Commissioner Grover said they will not be able to grant the exemption for 1997 but can consider the exemption for 1998 if the additional information is provided. Mr. Evans agreed there were some deficiencies in the application.

Commissioner Grover made the motion that Agenda Item #8 for the Heritage Schools, Inc., Tax Exempt Status be continued to the January 28, 1998 meeting. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Herbert and carried with the following vote:

AYE: David J. Gardner
Gary R. Herbert

9. PATTERSON CONSTRUCTION - GREENBELT: 11:054:0041, 11:054:0044, 14:019:0078 AND 14:019:0096
Wayne Patterson remarked the first two items are properties that are not greenbelt-related; but have been evaluated too high. The properties have been appraised for approximately $100,000 for residential property that does not have a road through it at this point and the value should be around $30,000. These properties should have been handled with the Board of Equalization, but they were overlooked. Commissioner Grover noted the problem is that Mr. Patterson had requested a Greenbelt appeal for this meeting; not an evaluation determination. The evaluation would have had to be considered during the time period allotted for that. The Commission does not have the leeway to make the adjustment after the 30 days for appeals for evaluation unless there has been an error on the part of the county. Commissioner Gardner noted the big jump in evaluation had taken place in 1994-95. After further discussion it was noted Mr. Patterson was discussing two different properties that were not on the agenda for this meeting. The properties he was discussing were still on Greenbelt and had not been included. The request for late appeal would have to be brought up separately and he would have to indicate the reason for the late appeal. Regarding parcels 11:054:0041 and 11:054:0044 for Greenbelt appeals, Commissioner Grover noted the notices were mailed on August 22, 1996 and there was no response for nine months until May, 1997. It was felt there was agricultural production; however, the response was not timely filed. Parcels 14:019:0078 and 14:019:0096 were filed in a timely manner.
 

Commissioner Grover made the motion that they deny parcels 11:054:0041 and 11:054:0044 for reinstatement to Greenbelt due to the lack of timely filing. Parcels 14:019:0078 and 14:019:0096 were accepted for Greenbelt as presented. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Herbert and carried with the following vote:

AYE: David J. Gardner
Gary R. Herbert
Jerry D. Grover

NAY: None

10. BP&H PENSION TRUST (LEE BROWN) - GREENBELT: 30:078:0192

The motion was seconded by Commissioner Herbert and carried with the following vote:

AYE: David J. Gardner
Gary R. Herbert
Jerry D. Grover

NAY: None

LATE APPEALS

OTHER BUSINESS
There being no further matters to be discussed and no public comments, the meeting was adjourned at 6:15 p.m.

The Minutes of the Board of Equalization Meeting held on December 23, 1997 were read and approved.

DAVID J. GARDNER, CHAIR
Utah County Commission

ATTEST:
ARLIN V. KUHNI
Utah County Clerk-Auditor

ATTACHMENTS
COPIES AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST
REPORTED BY: Linda Strickland