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Idaho law requires that all taxable property be assessed at market value each year. To do this, the county assessor develops valuation guidelines based on the sales prices and some of the features of homes that have recently sold. Some of the features that often influence what a buyer would pay for your home and land include size, quality, age, condition and location.
The county assessor uses this information to estimate how much a buyer might reasonably pay for your home if it were to sell on January 1 of the assessment year.
The value of your property may change each year depending on real estate market changes.
An appraiser from the county assessor’s office is required to visit your property at least once in each 5 year period. During the other 4 years, the county assessor will use information from property sales or from the inspections of other properties to estimate the current market value for your property.
The term “improvements,” as used in property assessment, does not refer just to remodeling, renovating or upgrading. “Improvements” are buildings (your house, garage, manufactured home, etc.), paving, or other structures that add value to land, regardless of when they were completed.
Real property consists of land and the improvements that are attached to it. Personal property normally is not attached to the land; it is generally mobile and does not last as long as real property. A copy machine is an example of personal property.
Personal property that is used by the owner in his private home is not subject to property tax. An example is household furnishings. If the same property is used in a business activity whether in a private home or elsewhere, it is subject to property tax.
Properly registered vehicles, including recreational vehicles, are not subject to property tax.
The value for your property is shown on your assessment notice. The county assessor usually mails this notice to you by the first Monday in June.
If you do not receive this notice, contact the Assessor's Office.
Your county assessor maintains a file of information on your property. If you have questions about your assessment, you should contact your county assessor to review the accuracy of the records. You may appeal the valuation to the Board of Equalization for the county in which the property is located. This board consists of the county commissioners. Most appeals must be filed with your county clerk by the fourth Monday in June. Properties assessed at other times of the year have different appeal dates.
Property values maintained by our county assessor are public records. You may also ask to review the value of other properties in that county.
Be prepared to document your reasons for requesting a change in your property’s assessed value. You must prove that the assessor’s value is not the current market value of the property.
The amount of tax is determined from the budget needs of the taxing districts. There are many kinds of taxing districts in Idaho. Some, like cities and counties, levy taxes to provide a wide range of services. Others levy taxes for specific purposes like highways, schools, or fire protection.
Officials for each taxing district determine the annual budget needed to provide services for the district. The approved budget is divided by the total taxable value of all properties within the district.
The result is the district’s tax rate. This rate, multiplied by the taxable value of your property, determines the amount of taxes you owe to the district.
Every property is located within several independent-taxing districts. This means your property tax bill includes taxes for all the districts in which you live. This combination of taxing districts is known as a “tax code area.” Each of these areas is assigned a number which appears on your assessment notice and tax bill. Within each tax code area, the total tax rate is generally the same for all properties.
The taxable value of your property determines how much tax you pay in relation to other properties. Assessments must be accurate for all taxpayers to pay their fair share of the total property taxes.
You should usually receive your tax bill by the end of November. Contact your county treasurer if you have questions about your tax bill.
Tax rates may be affected by a variety of factors.
Rates may increase due to a taxing district’s emergency needs or voter-approved bonds and override levies. Total tax rates may increase due to the creation of new taxing district that includes your property.
As an example, business has declined and slowed for local industry or agriculture, a county’s economy may suffer and affected property values may go down. However, your taxes may be higher since taxing districts still need to pay for basic services.
Yes, there are limits on property tax increases.
First of all, most taxing districts have limits on the tax rates they may charge.
Second, districts other than schools are limited to annual increases of 3% plus an allowance for growth on a portion of their budgets. The growth allowance is determined on the basis of new construction and annexation that occurred during the previous year.
You may live in a different taxing district than your neighbor. Also, your property may appear similar to your neighbor’s at first glance, but there may be enough differences in land size, square footage of homes, quality or condition of land that will result in value differences between properties.
Also, your neighbor may be eligible for some form of property tax reduction for which you either did not qualify or did not apply.
Yes, Idaho has a homeowner's exemption for owner-occupied homes, including manufactured homes, which are primary dwellings.
This exempts up to 50% or $100,000, whichever is less, of the value of your home and home site (Section 63-602G IC). Taxes are computed on the remaining value. You may also receive the homeowner's exemption if you are paying occupancy taxes.
Applications are available from the Assessor's Office. When an application is approved, the exemption is permanent as long as you own and occupy the property. If the property is sold, the new owner must file a new application. There are no income or age restrictions, but you can qualify for an exemption on only one home at a time. You must own and occupy your home on January 1 of the tax year and must apply for an exemption by April 15th.
You may also qualify for Property Tax Reduction (Circuit Breaker), if you meet the income requirements and fit one of the following categories:
Applications for the program (PDF) may be obtained from your county assessor and must be filed each year between January 1 and April 15.
View more State of Idaho information and forms about homeowners and property taxes.
If you purchase and move into a newly constructed home, that no one has ever lived in and move into it after January 1, you will pay the occupancy fee instead of property taxes for the portion of the year you live there.
You must notify the Assessor's Office on or before the date you move into your new home.
House Bill 560 (2014 Regular Session) created a new section of Idaho Code, 67-450E. This section of Idaho Code affects local governing entities (LGEs), the Legislative Services Office (LSO), and the State Tax Commission and is intended to improve transparency and compliance with audit requirements contained in Idaho Code section 67-450B and C.
This legislation requires all LGEs to register through the portal providing administrative and financial information. It also provides for penalties when LGEs are not compliant with the registration requirement or do not submit audit reports in accordance with Idaho Code 67-450B or C.
The introductory paragraph for each section is virtually the same, one focused on primary local governments such as cities, counties, authorities and districts, and one focused on affiliated entities such as commissions and institutions;
The requirements set forth in this section are minimum audit requirements for all local governmental entities, and include, without limitation, all cities, counties, authorities and districts organized as separate legal and reporting entities under Idaho law, and include the councils, commissions and boards as appointed or elected and charged with fiscal management responsibilities of the local governmental entity.
Those code sections provide the minimum audit requirements for all LGEs based on annual expenditures as follows:
Audit reports are required to be submitted to LSO within 9 months of the close of the fiscal year.
Legislators over the past few sessions had raised concerns to the Legislative Services Office (LSO) and prepared draft legislation to address concerns about the ability to access financial information related to local governments and special districts across the state. However, prior to the 2014 legislative session, nothing had been voted out of committee for a full floor hearing.
Additionally, the Legislative Services Office-Audits Division receives calls from constituents asking for financial statements or audits for a variety of local governing entities and we did not have a good directory of entities or consistent submission of audit reports. The combination of this concern and legislator interest led to the identification of a study report.
January 2014, LSO issued a report on local government financial reporting and compliance with Idaho Code. The objectives of the report were:
The report contained three findings:
The report’s recommendations were:
The resulting legislation passed and was signed into law March 26, 2014. House Bill 560 passed by the 2014 Legislature to address the findings in the special report. Support for the bill was unanimous, passing the House 68-0 with 2 absent and the Senate 35-0 with one absent. It was then signed by the Governor on March 26, 2014, with an effective date of January 1, 2015.
All LGEs are required to register with the portal. The following are important dates for compliance with this requirement:
This table (PDF) contains the requirements of Idaho Code Section 67-450E and an explanation of the acceptable types of information for each requirement.
After the initial registration deadline of March 1, 2015, entities will have some flexibility to select a date that most easily accommodates the entities’ workloads to comply with the requirement to update information reported on the portal every year on or before December 1.
Here is an example for an entity with a fiscal year-end of September 30, 2015, who completes their annual audit on June 15, 2016, including a timeline for submitting information to the portal that would satisfy the requirements:
Reporting does not have to be on December 1 each year. The requirements state that the information must be updated on or before December 1 each year, which allows local governing entities to update their information on a schedule that is convenient for them.
Many local governing entities may find it most convenient to update the portal information once per year when they upload their audit reports. Using the same information as in the previous example, a local governing entity may choose a different timeline that would also satisfy the requirements:
Counties must comply with the registry requirements of Idaho Code Section 67-450E just like all other local governing entities, but they also will be affected in different ways.
County Clerks must notify all local governing entities within their boundaries of the requirements of Idaho Code Section 67-450E. On or before December 1 of each year the county clerk of each county shall submit a list to the LSO of all local governing entities in the county that are authorized to impose fees, assessments, or taxes, or that receive property tax money. This list will be compared to the registry information submitted by entities to identify and notify entities that may not have registered.
Local governing entities may request assistance from the county to comply with the provisions of this section, but the county is under no obligation to provide assistance. If the county chooses to provide assistance to the local governing entity, the county may charge the local governing entity all reasonable fees, costs, and other expenses incurred in providing this assistance. Reasonable fees and costs include, but are not limited to, labor, material, and copying costs. These fees and costs may be deducted from any distributions of taxes, fees, or assessments collected by the county on behalf of the local governing entity.
The Legislative Services Office must notify entities immediately after a due date has passed (both for the registration requirements and the audit submission requirements) if required submissions have not been received or if the information submitted is noncompliant. The local governing entity then has 30 days to submit the information or notify LSO of the time when they will be able to comply.
By no later than September 1 of any year, the Legislative Services Office must notify the appropriate board of county commissioners and the Idaho State Tax Commission of an entity's failure to comply with these requirements.
The board of county commissioners must then place a public notice in a newspaper of general circulation in the county indicating that the entity is noncompliant with the legal reporting requirements of this section. The county commissioners shall assess to the entity the cost of the notice, and the cost may be deducted from any distributions of taxes, fees or assessments collected by the county on behalf of the local governing entity.
The Legislative Services Office shall notify the board of county commissioners and the Idaho State Tax Commission of the compliance status of each entity by September 1 of each year until the entity is in compliance.
For entities that fail to comply, the following enforcement procedures are in place:
Here is a list of documents and information that will be needed to complete the registration process. Find a more detailed explanation of these items.
Yes. In a separate envelope.
No. Only a State-issued Certified Copy or original Birth Certificate is accepted.
Washington County does supply renewal applications; however, we do not process them.
No. The application must be signed in the presence of an authorized passport clerk.
No, however, with an Idaho state Marriage License, you must get married in Idaho.
No, you may get married the same day.
No, an Idaho State Marriage License is only valid for ceremonies performed in Idaho.
There is no expiration date on the license. If not returned within a year, please contact Vital Statistics at 208-334-5980.
No, an authorized clergy member, judge, or other designated official must perform the ceremony.
No, you must present a certified copy of the Marriage License to both the Social Security Office and the Department of Motor Vehicles.
A Judge, Mayor or Minister can perform the ceremony.
Judge Eames will perform marriages. You must make your own appointment with Judge Eames by calling 208-414-2232.