Eye On Boise

Shift to homeowners continues

Even after lawmakers last year raised the homeowner's exemption for the first time in a quarter-century, owners of residential property are continuing to pick up a bigger and bigger share of Idaho's property tax burden, while the share for other types of property – businesses, farms and utilities – is dropping.

The Idaho Tax Commission's figures for 2006 show that residential property accounted for 64 percent of property taxes paid – up from 63.2 percent the year before. Back in 1990, it was just 47.1 percent. “We saw a clear pattern of shifting from other sectors onto the residential," said Sen. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint, who co-chaired an interim legislative committee that studied property taxes in 2005. "We've been trying to balance that. … However, we're still out of whack."

But this year's major property tax legislation is a plan to phase in a $100 million property tax break for businesses by eliminating the personal property tax on business equipment. In the first year, the bill would shift nearly $10 million in property taxes to non-business property, including homeowners. In each subsequent year, depending on appropriations, the state would take millions from its sales and income tax revenue to reimburse counties for additional reductions in the property tax on business equipment. Read the full story here in Sunday’s Spokesman-Review.




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Eye On Boise

Short takes and breaking news from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.








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