Date of Award:

1940

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Economics and Finance

Advisor/Chair:

W. Pulanlass

Abstract

Uniformity of assessments and equity in the taxation of all tangible property within the state has long been the ideal of the people of Utah, yet the history of equalization and assessment is replete with the effective blocking-by pressure groups-of attainment of this ideal. Taxing officials, in genearl, and students of taxation, in particular, have repeatedly pointed out gross inequalities and rank injustices in our assessing system which sould be corrected. but, selfish interest plus ignorance on the part of the taxpayer has permitted these abuses to remain in our taxing system. An accidental, hit-and-miss, guess mehtod of assessing has developed. The taxpayer, not knowing of any system or of the employment of a uniform method, strikes out blindly at the assessor, the tax commission, and the county boards of eequalization, seeking avoidance of his tax burden through underassessments, abatements, or remittances. Thus, to achieve equity in taxation, systematic methods should be substituted for the present methods of guess work. The purpose of this study is, first, to determine whether or not there are major tendencies in the present system of assessing realy property in the state that have resulted in important departures from the intent of the law and no to point out minor variations from the standard of uniformity in assessment. Second, to determine the extent of these variations from this standard, to point out their probable consequences, and to ascertain what progress has been made in equalization and assessment during the past decade. And third, to develop a plan for assessing land which will fit into the present governmental institutions and which embodies certain fundamental principles for the appraisals of land for taxation purposes.

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