FARMINGTON — More than 80 property-valuation appeals have been filed with the Davis County Clerk/Auditor's Office since Monday, when residents began receiving valuation notices.

Appeals always have a slow start. It takes time to find comparable home prices or to have an appraisal done. But residents who are unhappy with their home values have until Sept. 15 to make an appeal.

As residents in Davis County finally open their green and white valuation notices, appeals are expected to skyrocket, as they did in 2007, when more than 2,600 appeals were filed because of unexpected leaps in home values set by the Davis County Assessor's Office, as well as tax increases from four countywide taxing entities.

This week, Layton resident Jeff Harmon expects to appeal the $484,800 value the county placed on his property, which could mean a $3,220 tax bill in November. After the county set his home's value at $439,000 in 2007, Harmon ordered a private appraisal, which returned a value of $390,000.

Harmon used that value to appeal to the county, which agreed with him and lowered his market value to match his appraisal.

Because his private appraisal is still valid, Harmon plans to use the same document to appeal his value again.

"Something's really broken," Harmon said. "What in heaven's name would trigger a 24 percent increase?"

Harmon called his appraiser, who told Harmon that his phone has been ringing off the hook with people calling who are amazed at their property values.

Harmon said he has three neighbors whose homes took a year to sell.

"Each one sold 20 to 25 percent below the asking price," Harmon said, adding that he predicts appeals will begin pouring in to Davis County.

Davis County Assessor James Ivie said his office received about 500 phone calls in the first day after residents began receiving valuation notices. But the calls have begun to taper off.

Legislators, who have been working since 2007 to prevent spiking property taxes, said they haven't heard from constituents, whom the legislators had expected to be vocal. Rep. Gage Froerer, R-Huntsville, said that could be because his constituents haven't received their valuation notices yet.


E-mail: jdougherty@desnews.com