Idaho Considers Assessment-Model Revamp to Lessen Residential Property Tax

Over the past two years, the Idaho Legislature has been struggling to determine how to alleviate the massive tax shift toward residential property owners. In 2021, the Legislature passed House Bill 389, a comprehensive property tax bill that further capped local government budgets, increased the homeowner’s exemption by $25,000 and adjusted property-tax relief programs such as property-tax deferral and the circuit breaker. However, for most residential property owners, those adjustments will only amount to a drop in the bucket in terms…

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Legislative Council Establishes Summer Interim Committees

The Legislative Council met on Tuesday, July 13th to formalize interim committees. Due to the extended legislative session, interim committees will begin meeting later than in previous years. In total, the Legislative Council authorized seven interim committees and two study committees. IAC will monitor four of the committees: – Committee on Federalism – Committee on Uniform Accounting and Transparency – Study Committee on Expenditure of ARPA Funds – Study Committee on Property Taxes and Revenue Expenditures The Committee on Federalism is…

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Redistricting Commission Appointments Complete

Every 10 years, Idaho legislative districts are required to readjust based on the latest census by a redistricting commission made up of three Republicans and three Democrats. The committee members are chosen by the Senate Pro Tem, Speaker of the House, Idaho Republican Party Chair, Senate Minority Leader, House Minority Leader and the Idaho Democrat Party Chair. Committee Make Up Senate Pro Tem Chuck Winder appointed Bart Davis, a Bonneville County native. Davis served in the Idaho Senate for almost 20…

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County Leadership Development: Bolster your Succession Plan

As a county leader, you manage several priority-1 decisions, activities, and initiatives every day. Perhaps the most important is personnel development – working hard to make other existing leaders better and emerging leaders ready. As you conduct this work with existing and emerging leaders to make your county stronger, you deserve to have a program that is easily scalable to accommodate your workforce, a program that is non-disruptive to busy schedules, and cost effective so that you have an immediate return…

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Broadband Opportunities Across the State

In 1936, the Rural Electrification Act (REA) was passed to bring electricity to farms. Ninety percent of farms in the United States did not have access to electricity because it was too cost prohibitive to take electrical lines out to these rural areas. By the 1950’s eighty percent of farms had electricity and those numbers continued to increase. Electricity brought new opportunities for farming to advance and prosper. The technology used in farming today is astounding and a critical component of…

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2021 IAC Salary & Benefits Survey Now Available

The 2021 IAC Salary and Benefits Survey is now available for electronic download. IAC surveyed all 44 counties and a total of 43 counties participated in this year’s survey. The electronic survey is available in an excel spreadsheet so that our members can use the data how they see fit. If you find any errors, please contact Kristin Cundiff and she will get the corrections made. Thank you for your participation in this year’s survey. We had a great response and…

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What to Watch: Week of March 15

Property Taxes This week we expect to see Senate Bill 1108 receive further amendments on the Senate floor. These will likely affect the new construction percentages to make the bill more palatable to Senators. In addition, House Concurrent Resolution No. 15 was introduced on Thursday, March 11th. It will likely receive a hearing in the House Revenue and Taxation committee later this week. This resolution authorizes the Legislative Council to appoint a legislative interim study committee on property taxes and revenue…

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From the Executive Director: Week of March 15

As we head down the homestretch of the legislative session, county officials must stand vigilant and be prepared to reach out to their legislators. The legislature has set a target date of March 26 to wrap up (most) of their work. I say most, because unlike in previous years, the legislature is poised to recess rather than adjourn. The recess could be a few weeks or a few months. It all depends on how quickly the US Treasury is able to…

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What to Watch: Week of March 8

Property Tax Relief Proposals Gaining Traction This morning the House Revenue and Taxation Committee agreed to hold a full hearing on House Bill 309 which would increase access to the state property tax deferral program. This program, first started in 2006, allows a homeowner to defer paying their property tax assuming their home has equity. The idea is that as home prices rapidly rise, homeowners could tap into the increased value to set up a lien. The state would then pay…

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From the Executive Director: Week of March 8

We’re (potentially) entering the home stretch of the legislative session. The end of this week marks the transmittal deadline. Each year the legislature sets a deadline for all bills introduced in one chamber to be transmitted to the other chamber. Think of it as an aspirational goal, kind of like a New Year’s resolution. The transmittal deadline is set with good intentions, but it is rarely followed. That being said, there is a movement to at least get to a point…

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What to Watch: Week of March 1

One Time Transportation Funding Keep an eye on the Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee this week. They will likely hear a transportation supplemental of $126 million. This would be split with 60 percent going to the state and the other 40 percent ($47 million in one-time transportation funding). The funds wouldbe allocated through the highway distribution account which would apportion 30 percent to cities and the remaining 70 percent to counties and highway districts. Interstate Air Travel Aid Tomorrow, March 2nd, Senate…

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From the Executive Director: Week of March 1

Balancing Tax Relief and Funding for Local Services The Legislature is still slowly moving towards a series of proposals to provide tax relief and fund infrastructure projects. I expect a new tax relief package to be introduced in the next week or two that will reduce income tax rates and provide ongoing funding from the general fund for state and local transportation projects. In addition, there continues to be discussion on how best to provide meaningful property tax relief. What is…

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What to Watch: Week of February 22

Keep an eye on House Bill 149 which extends the sunset date on the Coronavirus Limited Immunity Act that was passed in the 2020 Special Session. The sunset date would be changed from July 1, 2021 to July 1, 2022. This bill was introduced early last week and will likely receive a full hearing later this week in the House Judiciary and Rules Committee. The IAC Legislative Committee voted to support this legislation during the Special Session and continues to support…

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From the Executive Director: Week of February 22

This past week was a busy one at the Capitol, especially for counties. In addition to Senate Bill 1108 clearing the Senate State Affairs Committee on a 6-3 vote (with Senators Lakey, Nye, and Rabe voting no), two other bills were introduced which would impact county budgets. The House Revenue and Taxation Committee introduced House Bill 199 and House Bill 218. House Bill 199 reduces income tax rates, drops the sales tax from 6% to 5.3%, eliminates the grocery tax credit,…

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What to Watch: Week of February 15

Property Tax Chairman Rice introduced Senate Bill 1108 late last week in the Senate Local Government and tax. This is the latest bill to address property taxes. This bill will be heard in committee on Thursday, February 18th.  The framework for this bill provides much more flexibility for local governments than the 4% cap in Senate Bill 1048. Senate Bill 1108 would do the following: Local taxing districts would continue to be subject to the 3% cap on annual property tax…

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From the Executive Director: Week of February 15

The Senate Local Government and Taxation Committee will hear Senate Bill 1108 on Thursday at 3:00 pm MST. The IAC Legislative Committee has been reviewing the bill and will take a position tomorrow. Senate Bill 1108 is much better than Senate Bill 1021 or 1048, but there will still be a fiscal impact on local governments. Cities will likely be hit the hardest by the changes. The impact on counties will vary depending on levels of new construction. The bill proposes…

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What to Watch: Week of February 8

If you haven’t already, be sure to reach out to your state representatives to ask for their support for House Bill 53. This bill, if enacted, would allow counties and other governmental entities to publish legal notices on their respective websites instead of in their newspaper of record. IAC estimates that Idaho’s counties would save over $600,000 in annual newspaper publication costs if online notices are allowed. Please reach out to your legislators today (click here for their contact info) and…

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From the Executive Director: Week of February 8

Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen three bills introduced related to property taxes and local government budgets: Senate Bills 1021 and 1048 and House Bill 73. We’re likely to see new bills introduced over the next two weeks. I want to express my appreciation for your attentiveness in reviewing the proposals, letting IAC know of the impacts on your county, and your diligence in reaching out to your legislators to discuss how the bills affect your county. As a result…

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What to Watch: Week of February 1

IAC expects at least two bills from the Property Taxes and Revenue Expenditures Study Committee to be introduced this week. One bill seeks to establish a uniform local government accounting and financial reporting manual which will be overseen by a legislative oversight committee and administered by the State Controller’s Office. The proposal will also establish a data repository for local government budget information which will be published on the State Controller’s website. This bill will be introduced in the House Revenue…

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From the Executive Director: Week of February 1

By now most of you are aware of Senate Bill 1021 that would impose additional caps on annual local government property tax budget increases. Depending on the level of growth measured by new construction, a county would be able to increase its annual property tax budget by between 3-4%. The new budget caps could be exceeded only by voter approval. The IAC Legislative Committee has thoughtfully reviewed Senate Bill 1021 and its impact on counties and has directed IAC staff to…

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