Davis County commissioners have approved property tax assessments for Lagoon based on the amusement park's income rather than on a cost approach.
The change will include having the park pay $133,872 in back taxes, including a $5,000 penalty.The County Commission, sitting as the Board of Equalization, approved the adjustment Wednesday.
For the past five years, Lagoon officials have been trying to change the formula to reduce the property tax.
Dick Andrew, director of marketing and public relations for Lagoon, told the board that the park believed it had received an unreasonable increase in property valuation.
Deputy County Attorney Gerald Hess said he made the adjustment request because the state Tax Commission felt the cost approach the county was assessing Lagoon was an unfair tax burden.
"(Lagoon) is a unique animal. Under the circumstances it is the appropriate way to deal with it," Hess said of the adjustment.
For example, in the cost approach, when Lagoon added a $1 million ride or attraction, its property taxes were assessed on that. The income approach will assess the park's property tax based on net income for each year.
Commissioner Robert Rose said the old method was unfair because Lagoon could purchase a $1 million ride, it could flop, and the company could end up selling it to a park in another state for $50,000, but still pay taxes on the initial purchase price.
Rose said the back taxes the county will receive result from Lagoon officials, over a five-year period, paying what they believed their park to be worth, rather than the county's assessment.