Clark Corbin

(Idaho Capital Sun) Within about a week Idaho homeowners will learn how much they will save on their property taxes this year thanks to a new law passed by the Idaho Legislature.

This year, the Idaho Legislature is cutting property taxes by more than $300 million, addressing one of top priorities that Idahoans have identified in public policy surveys in recent years.

The deadline for counties to email or mail their 2023 property tax notices to homeowners is Nov. 27, and each homeowner’s property tax notice will tally up the reductions and include a label showing “tax relief appropriated by the Legislature” according to House Bill 292.

The reductions come through three areas:

  • Property tax relief to Idaho homeowners who have owner-occupied homes and qualified for the homeowner’s exemption by the second Monday in July. About $192 million is going toward homeowners’ tax relief, the largest share of the pie, according to documents presented to the Idaho Legislature’s Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee on Nov. 9.
  • School district facility funding, where the state sends funding to school districts to pay down bond issues and supplemental levies and any left over can be set aside as savings for future facilities needs. About $81.9 million is going to school district facility funding, according to the JFAC documents.
  • Additional tax relief for all property tax owners, paid for with the state budget surplus. About $24.5 million is going into additional tax relief, which all property owners will benefit from.

Ada County to see $99M in property tax reductions through 2023 law

In Ada County, officials sent the property tax notices to the printer on Monday and could begin mailing them to owners today or Wednesday, Ada County Treasurer Elizabeth Mahn said.

About $99 million overall will be going toward property tax reductions in Ada County – with $65.5 million of that amount going to Ada County homeowners who qualify for the homeowner’s tax relief, Mahn said.

Each homeowner’s cut will vary, but the median property tax reduction for Ada County homeowners who qualified is $526, Mahn said.

“We knew the bulk of the relief would be toward homeowners, and that is what we are seeing,” Mahn said in an interview Monday.

Mahn said homeowners who received the homeowner’s exemption by the state’s July deadline don’t need to do anything else to see the savings.

The property tax reductions will show up on the homeowner’s property tax notice this month as a reduction in the amount owed – the state won’t be sending checks like it did for the income tax rebates, Mahn said. The state has already sent out money to school districts for the school district facilities funding share of the program, and the state will send money to counties to pay for the reduced property tax collections.

During a telephone townhall event with AARP Idaho on Monday, several senior citizens called into the program to ask Gov. Brad Little to continue to push to reduce housing costs for older Idahoans on a fixed income. Little told them help is on the way, saying that in addition to reducing property taxes, House Bill 292 also increases the income limit and assessed valuation cap for participating in the circuit breaker program that reduces property taxes for elderly, widowed or disabled homeowners.

“The property tax notice you should get here in the next, probably, couple of weeks, should almost guarantee it will be lower,” Little told one of the callers Monday.

Little pointed out that across the state property tax collections vary, and some residents may not see an overall reduction if voters in their county recently approved bonds for a new courthouse, jail or school.

But overall, Little said he expects Idahoans to realize significant savings.

“I’m quite certain most people’s property taxes will go down, and we think roughly somewhere between 15 and 25%,” Little added.

Little noted that about one-third of the calls he fielded during the hourlong event Monday had to do with growth or the cost of housing.

Once residents receive their property tax notice, property taxes are due on Dec. 20. Mahn stressed that the savings she discussed apply to this year’s tax bills only and everything will be added up and recalculated next year.

House Bill 292 calls for ongoing property tax reductions in future years, with the funding source shifting to sales tax collections and other sources. The amount available for property tax reductions will also vary in future years based in part on whether the state has another budget surplus or not.

“We calculate taxes and any relief annually,” Mahn said.