I qualified for a property tax reduction. Will I owe any property taxes?

The property tax reduction program credits the property taxes for the primary residence and up to one acre of land for qualified applicants.  If a qualified applicant owns land in excess of one acre or multiple outbuildings, they will be responsible for the taxes on that property and improvements, even if the maximum benefit that they qualified for has not been exhausted.

If an applicant qualifies for a maximum benefit of $600 and they own one acre or less of land where their primary residence is located and their total property tax bill is less than $600, they will not owe property taxes but, they may owe other fees or special taxes such as irrigation tax.

If the tax bill is greater than the maximum benefit (in this case $600) then they will owe the remaining balance after the property tax reduction benefit has been applied. (See Idaho Code 63-704 )

It is difficult to know what the exact the property tax bill is going to be until such time they are calculated and mailed out in November.  Any questions about the property tax bill should be directed to the Treasurer’s office.  Any questions about the Property Tax Reduction program can be directed to the Assessor’s office at 208-587-2126 or the Idaho State Tax Commission at (208) 334-7736.

If I buy my home after April 15th, can I still get the exemption this year?

The short answer is unfortunately no. The way property taxes are calculated, there must be a point in time when the net taxable value freezes during the year.  The homeowner’s exemption works by reducing the net taxable value.  The legislature has chosen the date of April 15th to be the deadline for both the homeowner’s exemption and property tax reduction. You can still apply for the homeowner’s exemption after the deadline, but it will be applied to the next tax year.  Applications for the Property Tax Reduction can only be accepted between January 1st and April 15th.  The dead-line for 2018 will be April 17, as April 15 falls on a Sunday.

For further questions please feel free to contact us at 208-587-2126.

What is the Agricultural Program, and how do I apply?

See Idaho Code 63-604 

The agricultural program, also known as the ag exemption, reduces the taxable value of land used for agricultural purposes.

Idaho Code describes agricultural land as: land actively devoted to agriculture
and
a part of a bona fide profit-making agricultural venture.  The land is further described as follows.

  • Used to produce field crops (and / or)
  • Used by the owner or bona fide lessee for grazing of livestock to be sold as part of a net profit-making enterprise
  • Land shall not be classified or valued as agricultural land which is part of a platted subdivision with stated restrictions prohibiting its use for agricultural purposes
  • Land utilized for grazing of a horse or other animals kept primarily for personal use or pleasure shall not be considered to be land actively devoted to agriculture

Acreage Requirements

If the total area of such land, including the home site, is more than five contiguous acres (may be a group of separately assessed parcels with common boundaries), the owner may make initial application for the program. To continue the agricultural classification in future years, the owner must then ensure that the land continues to be devoted to agricultural use or show that it has been placed or continues to be in a crop retirement or rotation program.

When the area is five acres or less, such land shall be presumed to be non-agricultural land until it is established that the requirements below have been met.

  • The owner must make an initial application and must show that the land was actively devoted to agriculture during the last three growing seasons (and)
  • Agriculturally produces for sale or home consumption the equivalent of 15% or more of the owners’ or lessees’ annual gross income (or)
  • Agriculturally produced gross revenues in the immediately preceding year of $1,000 or more, including net income per sale of livestock
  • The landowner must provide proof of these minimum incomes each year for the land to remain in qualification

Application Deadline

Initial application must be made in the Assessor’s office by April 15th of the year in which the owner is seeking the agricultural classification on the land. For land that is five acres or less in size, the landowner must provide proof of income (from the year before) by March 15th each year.

Valuation of Agricultural Land

When property is accepted into the agricultural program, it is given one of the following classifications: dry cropland, irrigated cropland, dry grazing, or irrigated grazing. There are a number of different assessment rates that apply to the land according to its ability to produce crops or grazing grasses. The value is calculated by multiplying the acres in the program by one of these rates, which are lower than the per acre rates for full market value.

Why do I have to apply for a Homeowners Exemption? Shouldn’t it be applied automatically?

The homeowner’s exemption is a benefit only for people who own and live in their home as their primary residence.  Not everyone that purchases a home intends to occupy it as their primary residence.  The purpose of a Homeowners Exemption application is to let the Assessor’s office know that you intend to occupy this home as your primary residence.

If you have a Homeowners Exemption on another residence, (even if it is located in another area) you must notify that Assessor’s office prior to applying for a Homeowners exemption on your new home. See Idaho Code 63-602G 

The application is a single page and doesn’t take very long to complete (an average application can be completed in 5 minutes).

Why does the Assessor’s office need to see my Trust or LLC Papers?

When you transfer ownership of your property to a Trust or LLC that entity becomes the owner of your property.

The Assessor’s office must have copies of certain pages from the Trust or LLC if you wish to have a homeowner’s exemption and/or circuit breaker.  This is because per Idaho Code you have to own and live in the home as your primary residence to qualify for these programs.  In the case that a Trust or LLC owns the home, the Assessor’s office is required to retain certain pages of that Trust or LLC to have record of who owns the Trust or LLC.  See Idaho Code 63-703(4) 

Another reason the Assessor’s office would request a copy of these documents, is to accommodate the transfer of ownership of a manufactured home.