Think of the treasurer as the banker for the county. Their main job is to maintain a personal connection with each taxpayer and every local government as they receive property tax deposits and safeguard that money until it’s time to spend it.
But they’re also smart with the money, investing it responsibly and accurately until it’s time to distribute it.
Here’s how the property tax process works. Property owners pay taxes on their land and buildings. For most, that means their house and land, but it can also mean land owned by businesses.
Once the amount of property tax is known, based on approved budgets that each local entity must submit to the county, the county treasurer sends out notices to citizens showing them how much they owe. These notices show taxpayers what their share of each entity’s budget is. After a citizen receives their notice, they have several weeks before they need to pay it.During that time, certain property owners can apply for discount programs called circuit breakers and abatements that are available to property owners who qualify because of income, age, or military service. Citizens can also appeal the value of their property before the tax is due to ensure their property value is accurate and fair.
Once the treasurer receives the tax payment from property owners and businesses, they divide it up among all the different local governments such as schools, cities, and special service districts based on their budgets. Special service districts provide specific services (such as mosquito control, sewer, and water) in certain areas that need them. In Utah, there are lots of kids, so schools get the biggest check.
Along with the schools, cities, and districts, the counties themselves need money to operate. So, the Treasurer is also a banker for the county. They collect taxes to run each of the county departments, along with receiving payments from citizens for various county services. And, as expenses are approved by the county, the treasurer’s office ensures that checks are sent and bills are paid.
Finally, the Treasurer is an “investor” for the county. Rather than just let the county’s money lie around collecting dust, county treasurers put that money to work in secure and responsible investments which actually help create more money to pay for services. This saves taxpayers money.
Treasurers are just one important office at your county. But, without them, many important services provided by the counties and local governments, such as school districts, simply wouldn’t have the money they need to work.