Adam’s Blog

That’s my thing, keepin’ the faith, baby. –Joe Friday

Assessing the Damage

Posted by Adam Graham on June 11, 2007

I have to feel for the folks who are getting sticker shock with this year’s tax bill including Boise’s George Minow:

Although I will be calling the Ada assessor’s office, I wanted to let the Ada County commissioners know that my property taxes went from $6,233.10 to $8,084.66, or up about $1,850. That means that I will need to get a raise of approximately $2,500 this year just to pay my taxes. My house value went up 14 percent; however, my land went from $160,000 to $256,000 or 60 percent in one year. Remind you, that last year when I spoke with the assessor, the $160,000 was fair value.

I expect to meet all the commissioners at the board of equalization hearing and I hope they are prepared to answer why they think my land increased in value $94,000 or 60 percent in one year. By the way, any idea how to get a $2,500 raise from my boss?

Good question. I had something odd happen where they dropped the value of my house down to $30,000 and raised the value of my land by about $40,000. Mind you, I live on a small plot in a townhouse complex that may be 450 square feet when the patio’s taken into consideration. There are odd things going on. Even so, Dennis McDowell of Bigfork gives some good advice in his letter:

The increase in property valuations in Boise is cause for concern to many of us as it leads to higher property taxes. Higher taxes are not the fault of the assessor’s office, but the spending habits of the elected officials that approve the budgets for Boise and the surrounding communities.

I was born and raised in Boise but now live in Montana. Our property taxes are at least 50 percent less than in Idaho, and we do not have sales tax. Just because the values increase does not mean that taxes must. Just lower the mill levy and be more frugal with our money.

Good wisdom, Mr. McDowell, I’d still like to know what happened to my property value. It’s no big deal as the net effect was only a $10,000 increase in valuation (and as my house is still within the Home Owner’s exemption of $5,000, it’s not a heck of a lot.)

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One Response to “Assessing the Damage”

  1. Dennis McDowell said

    that is how they get you in Idaho, A little bit at a time. Take $10,000 x ten years. Even now when sales and values are falling the officials just keep spending and behold-look at the encrease in tax values. Idahoans do not seem to have the guts or strength to pursue a prop 13 and the politicians know it.

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