by Logan Finney, Idaho Reports
The House Revenue & Taxation committee introduced three tax administration bills Tuesday morning, including one that would standardize applications for homeowners exemptions.
Rep. Brandon Mitchell, R-Moscow, introduced a bill that would clarify a law passed in 2020 to allow residents to apply for the property tax homeowners exemption at any point in the year.
“We have 44 counties, and they were all kind of doing things a little bit different,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell said two specific counties have been granting only partial exemptions under the new law – prorated based on the date of the application – rather than the full amount. Latah and Lincoln counties sued the tax commission last year over the disagreement.
“The tax commission has given all the counties the direction. There are still a couple that are a little bit confused,” Mitchell said.
Rep. Dustin Manwaring, R-Pocatello, introduced another property tax proposal that would require county assessors to provide a numerical breakdown of exemptions on annual property tax bills.
“Some assessors just now give you a total valuation. There’s exemptions in there, but they don’t tell you what it is,” Manwaring told Idaho Reports.
That bill would also define “special purpose commercial properties” with unique uses that make them hard to assess – such as nursing homes, storage facilities, gas stations and car washes – and ensure assessors do not value them higher than the land and building real property minus depreciation.
The governor vetoed a bill last year that attempted to make the change specifically for self-storage facilities.
“It fixes the valuation problem for properties that are inherently difficult to assess regarding intangible value,” Manwaring said.
Rep. Melissa Durrant, R-Kuna, introduced a bill that would give the state tax commission more time between collecting and distributing sales taxes. The commission currently must collect those taxes from businesses by the fourth Monday of October and distribute them to local governments by October 31.
“With this there’s been a lot of errors, and a lot of extra work that they’ve had to do to make sure they get those numbers right,” Durrant said.
The bill would give the commission an extra month before distributing the funds to local governments, which Durrant said would also help in calculations for cities that collect foregone balances.
All three pieces of legislation were introduced unanimously and require a public hearing to move forward.
Logan Finney | Associate Producer
Logan Finney is a North Idaho native with a passion for media production and boring government meetings. He grew up skiing, hunting and hiking in the mountains of Bonner County and has maintained a lifelong interest in the state’s geography, history and politics. Logan joined the Idaho Reports team in 2020 as a legislative session intern and stayed to cover the COVID-19 pandemic. He was hired as an associate producer in 2021 and they haven’t been able to get rid of him since.