May 31, 2011 in Idaho

Kootenai County property values continue slide

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Kootenai County property values continued a four-year slide in 2011, with the total assessed value dropping almost $900 million, or 7 percent, from the 2010 level.

The county’s assessed value dropped $2.1 billion in 2010, $1.2 billion in 2009 and $720 million in 2008, said Assessor Mike McDowell.

McDowell attributed the decline to market stabilization following a big run-up from 2005 to 2007. The county’s net taxable value jumped 65 percent in that two-year period, rising from $10 billion to $16.5 billion before beginning to drop.

“We did have a bit of a bubble,” McDowell said. “Now we’re seeing a leveling off. If we had experienced normal market conditions … we would maybe be very close to the number we’re at.”

On Tuesday, the county mailed out 87,760 assessment notices to property owners. The net taxable value for 2011 is about $11.6 billion, down from $12.5 billion in 2010. The 2011 assessments are based on analysis of 2,697 sales that occurred in 2010, McDowell said.

Homeowners will also see a decrease in the maximum homeowner’s exemption they can claim, from $101,153 in 2010 to $92,040 in 2011. The homeowner’s exemption allows the taxable value to be reduced by 50 percent of the value of land and buildings, up to a maximum amount. The exemption rises and falls with the Idaho State Tax Commission’s housing price index.

For example, if a property owner’s land and buildings are assessed at $300,000, the homeowner’s exemption would subtract $92,040. That property owner would then be taxed on the remaining $207,960.

McDowell wants to remind property owners that the property taxes everyone pays depend on how much revenue is requested by taxing districts in property tax-funded budgets. Property tax bills can go up even if net taxable values go down depending on the budgets that are set, he said.

“We want to encourage property owners to look at the budget hearing dates on the assessment notices and to get involved in those budget setting hearings,” McDowell said in a news release.


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