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Legislative-ordered property tax relief in Ada County takes shape

Drone 4k footage of a large residential neighborhood in Eagle, Idaho looking towards Boise, Idaho.
A large residential neighborhood in Eagle, Idaho looking towards Boise, Idaho.

How much property tax relief homeowners in Ada County can expect on their upcoming property tax assessment is becoming clearer.

This week, County Treasurer Beth Mahn told the Board of County Commissioners that Idaho’s most populous county was allocated about $99 million by the state to shrink residents' property tax bills. That's between a quarter and one-third of the total money state lawmakers set aside for property tax relief this fiscal year.

“A home with an assessed value of $430,000, with the homestead exemption in place, we’re seeing credits and savings of roughly $500,” she told commissioners.

The current median cost of a home in Ada County is $580,000. Anyone with a primary residence valued at that amount would receive closer to $600 in property tax relief, according to Mahn.

The complex equation for each parcel includes calculations on existing school and municipal property tax rates, which means the amount of tax relief will differ between counties, cities and school districts.

County officials across the state Monday received the total amount available for property tax relief from state tax officials, and have only a few weeks to get the adjustments applied to individual parcels. Property tax assessments for 2024 are required to be mailed out by the fourth Monday in November, this year, November 27.

The money comes from House Bill 292, passed twice by lawmakers in the waning days of the 2023 legislative session, the second time to override a veto by Governor Brad Little. Little called the legislation “a hodgepodge of policy items intermingled with property tax relief,” writing in a transmittal letter that he was concerned about the elimination of the March election date and affect on funding for transportation projects the bill had.

Lawmakers later passed a trailer bill to address transportation funding issues, but the March election date, often used by school districts to bring bonds and levy funding before voters, is no longer available.

The legislation relies on Idaho’s tax surplus to fund property tax rebates for individual homeowners, commercial property owners and a portion can be used by school districts to pay down bonds currently funded by taxpayers. It’s expected the overall relief amount will be the largest in the first year, with one-time funding from the state’s general fund providing a larger amount in fiscal year 2023.

Troy Oppie is a reporter and local host of 'All Things Considered' for Boise State Public Radio News.

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