Idaho’s public records law was enacted in 1990. The Idaho State Tax Commission is committed to fulfilling public records requests within the law, while balancing a taxpayer’s right to privacy with a citizen’s right to access government records. We are bound by laws that prevent the disclosure of confidential information. (See Idaho Code sections 63-3076 and 63-3077.)
Public records: What are they?
Public records can be documents, emails, photographs, recordings, or any other form of information that’s retained by an agency.
Many public records are available on the Tax Commission’s website. In addition to general information, we provide details on these topics and more:
- Reports and statistics, such as:
- Comparative statement (revenue from all tax types)
- City revenue sharing
- Sales tax distribution by county
- Personal property reimbursement by district
- Property tax reduction (circuit breaker) statistics
- Policy documents
Your tax records aren’t public, but you can get copies of your own tax returns. See “Your own tax information,” below.
Public records request requirements
All records kept by state and local agencies are available for public inspection unless the law specifically exempts them. You’re entitled to access public records under reasonable conditions, and to get copies of those records.
In most cases, you don’t have to explain why you want the records. However, specific information might be necessary to process your request, and the Tax Commission can require more information to determine whether filling your request would violate certain provisions of law.
Exceptions to public records requests
While Idaho strongly encourages disclosure of public records, the law requires some information to be withheld. Read more in:
Generally, the Tax Commission must provide access to existing public records in our possession; however, we aren’t required to collect information or organize data to create a record that didn’t exist at the time of the request.
How to submit a public records request
We’ve made it easy to ask for public records with this Form PRR – Public Records Request form. Just print the form, complete it, sign, and deliver it to us in one of the following ways:
- Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mail – Attn: Public Records Custodian, Idaho State Tax Commission, P O Box 36, Boise ID 83722
- Fax – (208) 334-7690, Attn: Public Records Custodian
- Drop off your form at any of our offices.
You’re not required to use the form we’ve provided, but any public records request must be made in writing.
Fees and payments
- Copies of the first 100 pages are free.
- Copies of all other pages (after the first 100) are 10 cents per page.
- If postage costs less than $1, there’s no charge to you. But if postage fees are $1 or more, you must pay the entire cost of mailing your copies.
- Payment is due in advance.
- Payment isn’t required if you demonstrate that either you can’t afford to pay or the public interest would suffer if assessing a fee creates a hardship.
Responding to a request
Our goal is to respond to a request within three work days of receiving it. When we respond, we’ll either:
- Provide the records requested,
- Let you know we need more time to fill the request*, or
- Deny the request in writing, including the reason for the denial.
In some cases, we may grant part of a request, but deny the remainder.
*If we need more time to fully respond to a request, we have 10 work days in which to do so. If we can’t fulfill a request—for whatever reason—our policy is to notify you of that, even though we’re not required to do so by law.
Notifying affected parties
We may notify people identified in the requested record to inform them of the request and release of information.
Denying a public records request
If we deny access to a record, we must identify the specific exemption (or other law) we believe justifies our denial and explain how it applies to your request.
You have the right to file a petition protesting the denial. You must file it:
- In the district court of the county where some or all of the records are located.
- Within 180 days of the date the denial notice was mailed. (See Idaho Code section 74-115.)