Appraisal of Property FAQ

 

How is property assessed in Idaho?

All taxable property must be assessed at 100% of current market value less statutory exemptions. The county Assessor must estimate how much an informed and willing buyer would pay for the property on January 1st of that year. To do this, the Assessor generally uses sales data to develop guidelines for assessing value using mass appraisal methods. The Assessor considers the features that influence what a buyer would pay for property. Some of these features are size, location, quality, age, and condition. See Idaho Code 63-205

Since Idaho is a non-disclosure state, The Assessor’s office depends heavily on the public to provide sales information when property is bought and sold. The more quality information the Assessor’s office can obtain, the more accurate the assessment will be.

Each year, assessment notices are mailed to all property owners to notify them of their current assessed value. It is very important for property owners to read this notice carefully. Any appeals, corrections or requests for changes must be received by the Assessor’s office by the deadline on the notice.

Why is my property assessed, and how? 

 At the Assessor’s office, our job is to make sure Residential, Commercial, Industrial, and Personal Property are valued correctly. Under Idaho Code 63-205 , our assessed value must be the same as the actual market value of that property. Many people think the increase in assessed value is the only reason their property taxes would increase. This is simply not the case; however property taxes are a principal source of income for cities and counties and special-purpose governments like fire, schools, library, cemetery and other districts. Each of these local governments applies a tax rate to the assessed value of your property.

The county Treasurer sends you a tax bill and collects the tax, and then the taxes collected are distributed to the taxing districts.

To make the process as fair and consistent as possible, we use three methods to value homes:

  1. Annual updates. Every year, the county updates your property values based on the price of similar property in the neighborhood, local costs for new construction and age of improvements.
  2. Five-year updates. These are more detailed than the annual updates. Once every five years, a Deputy Assessor walks by your property to determine if there have been any obvious additions, improvements or anything else that would affect your property values, such as the condition.
  3. Property owner’s feedback. Property owner’s comment is important to us. Since we aren’t in the habit of looking in people’s homes uninvited, there are lots of things we do not know that could influence a home’s value. We want property owner’s to let us know if they think our valuations are too high or too low. You may also ask us to visit your home and do a more detailed assessment. We may discover our assessment was too high, too low, or about right.  You can appeal any decision we make to the Board of Equalization when you receive your assessment notice.

Why does my assessed value change from year to year?

Many things can affect the value of your property. Some of them are under your control and some are not. Things you can control are the appearance and the size of your home. Things you cannot control are the location and the value of surrounding property and the general neighborhood. If a neighborhood falls into decline, its property values will decrease. Sometimes, older neighborhoods become desirable once again and are “gentrified”. While this sort of neighborhood revitalization is good, it can cause values to rise in just a few years. Another reason could be that the appraiser may have discovered better information resulting in a more accurate estimated value of your property.

The current process requires the counties to physically appraise all properties every 5 years. In the intervening years the counties are required to do adjustments to ensure that all properties are at the current market value.

One thing to remember is that the County Assessor does not decide what the market is – only the free market can do that. When supply for a particular style property is limited and the demand goes up the value goes up just like any other commodity. The County Assessor does look at sales information and assesses values based on that information.

What is the notice I receive from the Assessor’s office?

You may have received an Assessment notice.

Assessment notices are issued to inform you of the value of the property. This is the value that your taxes will be calculated on that year. Pay close attention to the notice and ensure everything is correct. If corrections need to be made, contact the assessor’s office before the appeals date listed on the notice.

You may have received a letter requesting information. Look for contact information directly on this letter or contact the Assessor’s office. When contacting us, please have the notice in front of you and note the contact name or department to assist us in determining who could best help you.

What if I disagree with my assessed value?

Assessed values can only be appealed after the assessment notices are mailed out. Before receiving the assessment notice, there is no way of knowing what value you are trying to appeal. The deadline and instructions for an appeal is printed on the Assessment notice. Instructions for the appeal process can be found on this site.

You can contact the Assessor’s office for an informal review with the appraiser assigned to your area. This informal review is to ensure that all of the information we have on your property is correct. The appraiser will also ensure that you understand how your specific value was determined. A large percentage of appeals are settled during this informal review. After this review, if you still believe that your value is not an accurate reflection of the local market as it was January 1st and you have documentation to back it up, you can obtain an appeal form from the Assessor’s office or from this site. This form must be filled out and returned to the Assessor’s office prior to the deadline. You are then scheduled for a hearing before the Board of Equalization, which consists of the County Commissioners. If you disagree with the decision from the Board of Equalization you may appeal to the state board of tax appeals. This is done when you receive the decision in writing from the Board of Equalization. This form is available through the Commissioner’s office.

Doesn’t the law limit the amount property value can increase from one year to the next?

No, actually Idaho Code 63-205 requires that each property is assessed at current market value as of January 1st each year. This may mean a large or small increase or decrease in value from the previous year depending on market conditions. The duty of the Assessor’s office is to keep the assessed value of your property as close as possible to the actual market value.

Many things can affect the value of your property. Some of them are under your control and some are not. Things you can control are the appearance and the size of your home. Things you cannot control are the location and the value of surrounding property and the general neighborhood. If a neighborhood falls into decline, its property values will decrease. Sometimes, older neighborhoods become desirable once again and are “gentrified”. While this sort of neighborhood revitalization is good, it can cause values to rise in just a few years. Another reason could be that the appraiser may have discovered better information resulting in a more accurate estimated value of your property.

A change in your assessed value does not equal the same change in your tax bill. See the Treasurer's  main page for more information.

Won't my tax bill increase the same amount that my value increases?

No, the assessed value of your property is not the only factor in determining your property tax liability. A change in your assessed value does not equal the same change in your tax bill. See the Treasurer's main page site for more information concerning taxes.Your value could stay the same and your tax bill could still increase or decrease to the degree that your taxing districts budgets increase or decrease. Even if your assessed value decreases, you may see your tax bill go up. This is because property taxes are budget driven not assessment driven.  

Why does the assessment notice show improvements when I haven’t made any changes?

Improvement is a term used in the world of real estate that refers to any buildings, paving, or other structures that add value to the land. It is not an indication that something new has happened to the property. These items are improvements to the land and categorized together under one heading. Improvement does not refer to remodeling, renovating, or upgrading in this content.

What property is assessed?

Property that is assessed are land, homes (including manufactured homes), out-buildings, farms, businesses, industrial businesses, warehouses, offices, most privately owned real estate, as well as business personal property such as machinery and equipment, and office furniture and equipment.

What are my responsibilities as a property owner and taxpayer?

Be aware of the important date’s and deadlines for payments, applications, property tax relief and assessment appeals.

How can zoning affect my assessed value?

The Assessor’s office uses actual functional use when determining land values. The only time zoning matters when valuing property is when functional land use changes.

For example if agricultural land stops being used as agricultural land, and is located in an area that is zoned commercial use – the land will be valued as commercial  land. The value will be determined using recent sales of similar commercial land. If this land were in an area zoned as residential use –the land would be valued as residential and residential land sales would be used to determine value.

If the agricultural land continues to be used for agricultural use, it will continue to be valued as agricultural land regardless of zoning changes. See Idaho Code 63-602H 

If you have additional questions concerning assessed value you may contact the Assessor’s office. If you have any questions regarding the zoning of your property contact the planning and zoning department.

Why did I receive two assessment notices when I have one property?

   *    If new construction was completed midyear and assessed after the primary roll is closed you may receive an Occupancy Tax assessment notice.
   *    If you own a business you may receive a real property assessment notice and a separate business personal property assessment notice.
   *    If you own a manufactured home and the land it is located on and have not filed a Statement of Intent to Declare, you may receive separate assessment notices for the home and the land.

What is an income approach assessment?

Income approach is a method used to assess value to income producing properties. For operating property, the income approach is based on the premise that value can be represented by the present worth of future benefit derived from the ownership, use, or operation of the unit. The appraiser shall consider yield capitalization in processing the income approach.

For example a nine unit apartment complex has the potential to collect $3,400 in rent each month if all of the units are filled and paid for.  This translates into $40,800 a year.  Since not all of the units will be full all of the time and not all of the tenants will pay their rent all of the time, we figure a vacancy rate.  In this example we'll use a 5% vacancy rate which translates to $2,040.  We subtract this from the "Economic Gross Annual Income".  $40,800 - $2,040 = $38,760.  Let's assume this apartment complex has a coin-op laundry that generates $500 a year.  We'll add that to our figure above and end up with $39,260.  This figure is called the "Effective Gross Income".

Now we will subtract out management and miscellaneous expenses (such as snow removal and other maintenance).  We allow for management expenses whether the property is professionally managed or self managed.  In this example we'll use 10% management expenses and 30% other expenses.  This gives us $15,704 which we will subtract from the "Effective Gross Income" to give us $23,556 "Net Income before Interest and Depreciation".  Idaho code states that we assume everyone owns their property fee simple.  In this way someone that owes a large sum of money on their property does not have an unfair tax advantage over someone that doesn't.

To figure the property value we divide the "Net income before Interest and Depreciation" by the cap rate (return on investment).  In this example we'll use a cap rate of 8.5% to give us a total value of $277,130.  A market study would determine the actual cap rate.  Now let’s say the land is worth $42,300 (a study of land sales would determine this) so to get the value of the apartment complex alone we just subtract the land value, $42,300 from the total value, $277,130 which is $234,830.

                                      Income Approach Formula

Economic Gross Annual Income  $ 40,800
Minus Vacancy  - 2,040
Plus Misc Income  +   500
Equals Effective Gross Income  $  39,260
Minus Management Expense  - 3,926
Minus Misc Expense  -11,778
Equals Net Income before Interest & Depreciation   $  23,556
Divide by Cap Rate 8.5%
Equals Total Value 277,130
Minus Land Value   - 42,300
Equals Structure Value $234,830

 

 

 

How do I get the owner and other details on a property?

Ownership, ownership history, parcel number, short legal description, and date and instrument number of the last transfer are available by contacting the Platting/Mapping Department. Assessed value, lot size, value history, and traits on the buildings are available by contacting the Assessor’s appraisal department.

How do I change the name of the owner(s) and/or get the mailing address changed on my property?

See the Platting/Mapping Department’s Frequently Asked Questions for instructions on how to do this.

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For further frequently asked questions you can link to the documents listed below at the State Tax Commission.  

Property Tax for Homeowners

Manufactured Housing

Bonneville Map


Bonneville County

605 N Capital Ave
Idaho Falls, ID, 83402
Phone: (208) 529-1350