INDEPENDENCE & EXPERIENCE
PROPERTY TAX WATCHDOG
16 October 2022
Auditing Tax District Boundaries
Editorial appearing in the Salt Lake Tribune Voter Guide
I have a passion for public service and the necessary experience to hit the ground running as your Salt Lake County Auditor.
It might surprise you to learn that the auditor’s primary responsibility is verifying property tax district rates in the county and applying them correctly to each parcel. The auditor also does internal auditing, looking for misappropriations or violations of county policies. Because of these responsibilities, I would argue that the county auditor ought to have extensive governmental financial experience. My professional certifications include Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), Certified Government Finance Manager (CGFM), and Certified Public Finance Administrator (CPFA)--all directly associated with government financial oversight. Additionally, my 26 years of government finance experience, working for both the Salt Lake County Auditor’s office and as a financial manager for the city of Cottonwood Heights, has given me a practical understanding of the critical importance of the Auditor’s role for all other governmental entities.
Digging Into Details
My deep knowledge of government finance will help me to know where to look for inefficiencies or misappropriations. In fact, I’ve already found errors that I will focus on immediately when I am elected your county auditor.
Several years ago, while preparing a comparative analysis for unincorporated areas between Cottonwood Heights and Sandy, I identified a tax district that included hundreds of homes that were being levied property taxes by that district which provided the homeowners no services. The taxes collected were over $21,000 annually. When I contacted both the tax district and the County, those I talked to expressed that they could not do anything to correct this error.
Just this summer, I was asked to verify comparable city property tax rates published by a city. In this process, I found that two tax districts out of 14 in that city had not been taxed for many years for their sewer services or for mosquito abatement. These types of errors apparently have not been identified or been corrected for many years.
One tax district official I contacted recently expressed his concern that there were numerous errors like these in his district, and there were even commercial areas that were not paying for the services they received. I believe the county auditor’s office should be working proactively with all taxing entities to assist them in making these corrections as a matter of equity and fairness. I am committed to necessary changes in laws to allow property tax districts or even property owners to easily correct their boundaries.
I believe we need less politics and more results. Auditing requires a willingness to follow the facts, even in the face of opposing pressure from other elected officials. I’m running under the United Utah Party: they focus on problem solving rather than partisanship, which is exactly what I hope to do as Salt Lake County Auditor.
When I am elected, I will focus on fact finding and drawing justified conclusions. I will keep the office free from unwarranted partisan agendas and avoid purely political audits. I will collaborate with county officials from all parties to find opportunities for greater efficiencies.
My office will be open to comments and concerns from the public. The county auditor needs to assure the public that their government is using their resources wisely and according to established policies and procedures. I will listen to your concerns about how your government is functioning, investigate concerns through fact finding, and keep your government transparent and accountable to you, the public.
With your vote, I can put my experience to work for you immediately.
Read David's editorial in the Deseret News:
Opinion: I’ve fixed millions in financials, and I want to work as your Salt Lake County auditor
Read David's second editorial in the Salt Lake Tribune:
David Muir: Less politics, more results in the Salt Lake County Auditor’s Office
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