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Double-taxed Cottonwood Heights property owners should get money back soon

Published: Saturday, Oct. 8 2011 10:43 p.m. MDT

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS — About 300 property owners who were wrongly taxed in both the Jordan and Canyons school districts are one step closer to getting a cumulative refund of about $1.2 million.

Most of Cottonwood Heights had been in the Jordan School District before the Canyons School District came into being July 1, 2009 — and those areas remain on the hook to help repay some existing Jordan District bonds.

But a sliver of land on the northern edge of Cottonwood Heights, between I-215 and 6600 South, had been in the Granite School District before the Jordan/Canyons split and the area was annexed into the new Canyons district.

"They got assessed a tax that was not supposed to be assessed to them, and they've had to pay it under protest the past three years," said Cottonwood Heights Mayor Kelvyn Cullimore, Jr. "We immediately began to work with them to get that resolved, but nobody took responsibility for making the corrections for fear it wouldn't be made properly."

Cullimore said the search for a resolution bounced from the Salt Lake County Board of Equalization to the State Tax Commission and then back to the county. "Finally we all agreed to just jointly appeal to the 3rd District Court."

Cullimore said the recent court order leaves it to the Canyons district to make the reimbursements. District spokeswoman Jennifer Toomer-Cook said the school board on Tuesday authorized staff to work with the county and Cottonwood Heights to facilitate repayment.

Toomer-Cook said it isn't yet known who will actually be cutting checks to the property owners or how long this final step in the process will take.

E-mail: sfidel@desnews.com, Twitter: SteveFidel

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