Salt Lake County's Board of Equalization has placed the official home of the LDS Church president on the county's list of residential properties exempted from taxes because of ownership by a religious organization.
The decision exempting the downtown Salt Lake condominium, valued at $1.2 million, was based on guidelines for such cases established earlier this year by the state Tax Commission in its ruling involving the home occupied by the president of the St. George LDS Temple.The board, comprising the three county commissioners, also exempted from property taxes another residence owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and occupied by a Salt Lake area mission president. Board members then ordered a review of previous decisions on tax exemptions for homes owned by religious organizations.
The state guidelines for granting the religion-based exemption include: ownership of the residence by a bona fide church; an occupant engaged in full-time activity for the church; and all residential operating expenses, including maintenance and utilities, paid by the church.
There are 30 to 40 Salt Lake County residences owned by a number of religious denominations that previously have been granted tax exemptions.
The board now wants those properties and other religion-based exemption applications reviewed to determine whether they meet the three Tax Commission guidelines and a fourth guideline board members set - that the occupant of the exempted residence be required by the owner-organization to live there.