Understanding Property Tax
Counties levy and collect property tax to provide local services and support for independent local taxing districts, such as cities and schools. The State of Idaho doesn't receive any property tax.
Property tax applies to all nonexempt property including:
- Homes (including manufactured housing)
- Commercial properties
- Industrial properties
- Business personal property (if owned by a single taxpayer and with an aggregate value greater than $100,000 per county)
Role of the Tax Commission
The Tax Commission's Property Tax Division oversees the property tax system to ensure compliance with state laws. The Tax Commission also determines the assessed value of operating property such as electric utility companies, railroads and railcar companies.
The Tax Commission doesn't collect property tax.
Determining your property tax amount
County assessors' role
Each year your county assessor's office must estimate how much a typical buyer would pay for your property as of January 1. It's assessed at 100% of market value less any exemptions. (Check with your county assessor to find out which exemptions might apply.)
Generally, assessors use sales prices from properties in the county to develop guidelines. They also consider features that could influence what a buyer would pay for the property. These features include size, location, quality of construction, age and condition.
Contact your county assessor if you have any questions about your property's valuation.
Your county assessor's office also can provide you with the form required to declare personal property for your business.
Appealing your assessed value
If you disagree with your assessment, take these steps in this order:
- Contact your local county assessor's office and speak with your appraiser.
- Contact your county clerk to file an appeal with the Board of Equalization (BOE) by the fourth Monday in June. Typically, the board meets to hear appeals between the fourth Monday in June and the second Monday in July.
- If you disagree with the BOE's decision, ask your county clerk how you can appeal within 30 days to either:
- The State Board of Tax Appeals
- The District Court
Taxing districts' role
All property is located in multiple taxing districts. Taxing districts are government units (e.g., county, city, school district, sewer district fire district, library district).
Every year, a taxing district develops a budget to cover all its services. Once the budget is approved, the part of the budget funded by property tax is divided by the total taxable value of all properties within that taxing district. This number is the tax rate for that area for that taxing district.
All applicable taxing districts repeat this process. The total is the total property tax rate for that area.
George's property is a house located in the fictitious city of New Town, Idaho. This city is one taxing district. The New Town city council passed a budget of $9,500,000. The total taxable value of all property in the city is $5,495,800,420. Dividing the first figure by the second figure yields the New Town city tax rate of 0.001728.
All the other taxing districts for the property he owns repeat this process. In this case, those districts are: county, fire, highway, library, school, sewer, ambulance, and weed control. Once their tax rates (percentages) are added to the city's rate, the total rate for George's property is 0.01352.
The total amount of property tax that George owes is calculated like this:
- 100% of the market value of his house is $142,900.
- 100% of the market value of his half-acre lot on which the house sits is $96,000.
- George is eligible for the homeowner's exemption. This reduces the taxable amount of his property by $100,000.
- Line A plus line B minus line C is the taxable value: $138,900
- Line D times the total rate of 0.01352 is George's property tax bill for that year: $1,877.23
You can find the average urban and rural tax rates for each Idaho county in the Annual Report. Contact your county treasurer for specific tax rate information.
Increasing or decreasing property tax rates
Idaho law doesn't limit increases or decreases to property value from year to year.
Your property value can change periodically for reasons including:
- Changes to the market value of all properties in your neighborhood
- Your county assessor's office discovers more accurate information
Several factors can affect your property value. These factors include the addition of new structures or making other improvements that add value. Market conditions also can affect your property value, even if you don't make any physical changes to it.
Property tax rates
There's no legal limit to how much any property's tax bill can increase or decrease. But each taxing district can raise the property tax portion of its budget by no more than 3% unless one or both of these apply:
- Voters approve an increase to property tax revenue (e.g., bonds, overrides)
- Your taxing districts apply new construction or new annexations
Idaho property tax rates for the past five years
|Year||Average urban rate||Average rural rate|
You can find the average urban and rural tax rates for each Idaho county in the Annual Report.
Paying your property tax
Counties mail property tax bills each November. Property tax payments are due December 20. You can pay half by December 20 and the balance by June 20 of the following year.