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Kootenai Assessments Up; Taxes Could Rise 4 Percent

Wed., May 17, 1995

Kootenai County assessment notices will arrive in mailboxes this week, bringing good news and bad.

The good news: The Legislature recently capped budget increases for taxing districts at 3 percent.

The bad: Bringing land and home values up to par with market sale rates means assessments will rise by an average of more than 10 percent.

“People have seen this market; they know what’s been happening,” Kootenai County Assessor Tom Moore said. “This isn’t a surprise.”

It’s too soon to predict what that means for property taxes. But if each of the county’s 44 taxing districts seeks a 3 percent budget increase this year, taxes could rise 4 percent to 4.5 percent for the average homeowner, Moore said.

State law requires property assessments to fall within 90 percent of market value, the sale price of a similar home or business. To keep up with rising home sale prices, assess ments on most homes in Coeur d’Alene will rise 15 to 20 percent. Rathdrum homes will rise less. Some Post Falls homes will rise more.

Some Post Falls businesses will see their property values double or triple, Moore said.

The assessor’s office has not computed the overall impact of assessments, but expects countywide property values will rise $600 million or more. About $140 million is from new construction.

Last year’s property tax roll was based on county land values totaling about $3.4 billion.

Kootenai County Commissioner Dick Compton said the county hopes to keep its budget, which accounts for 19 to 22 percent of residents’ tax bills, flat.

“Now the minute you say that, something pops up that you have no control over, but that’s what we’re shooting for,” Compton said. “At this point I’m optimistic.”

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