Salt lakes real estate

New Report Shows LDS Church in 2020 Owned Over 12,000 Acres in Wasatch, Summit Counties

The organization that started out as MormonLeaks and revealed that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has tens of billions of dollars in stock-related assets released a new report on Tuesday detailing the properties land of the Church.

The data is a July 2020 snapshot of holdings. It shows church-related entities at the time owned more than 12,000 acres in Summit and Wasatch counties, and more than 1.7 million acres in all the countries.

The organization, now known as Truth and Transparency, said the publication was the result of a two-year investigation. The Salt Lake Tribune also published a report based on the data on Tuesday.

Ethan Gregory Dodge, co-founder of Truth and Transparency, said the survey showed many church funds shared a data point.

“We were able to find these nearly 16,000 (plots) across the United States because they were all linked to a mailing address that the church uses,” he said.

This address was found to be linked to 15,963 parcels of land, including more than 120 in Wasatch and Summit counties.

The largest cluster appears to be east of Heber near the gated community of Timber Lakes. This is where the largest single patch in either county is located, comprising 640 acres.

Truth and Transparency does not claim that the list is exhaustive or that it represents the current assets of the church. For example, the data indicates that 531 Main St., Park City, is a church worth an estimated $2.6 million. Summit County records show the church sold this land, the former home of the Park City Family Tree Center, in late 2021.

There are also apparent discrepancies in the data, including a parcel in Wasatch County listed with a market value of $6.5 million. County documents show he has a market value of $2.5 million.

Dodge said it was the only package he had heard of that had a lower value than what was posted. He said Truth and Transparency audited its findings manually, checking every ad with a market value of at least $20 million and checking another 1,000 random ads.

He and the Tribune also said that the census of land holdings almost certainly underestimated the true holdings of the church.

“Any properties that we know they own, eg chapels and temples that didn’t show up there, apparently don’t use the same mailing address or something, we don’t really know” , Dodge said. “But I absolutely agree with the Tribune that he is absolutely underrated. I don’t know how much bigger it is, but there is more.

A representative for Property Reserve, Inc., one of the church’s real estate arms, did not immediately return a request for comment.

According to the data, many packages, but not all, are tax exempt or taxed at low rates.

Mary Cashion

The author Mary Cashion