Property Tax Reform: Results


Open-Ended Comments by Members of The Common Interest in response to the question:

 What would you like to say to Legislators about property taxes?

Answers sorted by theme.

Less attention to special interests, more attention to homeowners and common citizens

  • Property taxes need to be more equitable.  Too many very large businesses have been given deep exemptions to the tax – they too use services and need to pay their fair share.  Homeowners cannot shoulder the majority of the burden.
  • As with so many situations currently, too many breaks are being given to the wealthy and corporations and the burden is being shifted to those who are not able to bear the cost.
  • It is time to realize that tax breaks for companies put an inordinate amount of the tax burden on the citizens of Idaho.  The tax structure is destroying the middle class and enlarging the division of wealth.
  • The problem is failure to consider sales tax exemptions coupled with foolish income tax breaks for businesses.
  • Local entities should have the ability to tax accordingly and the state should not impede then from collection by making so many exemptions.
  • You were elected to represent Idaho residents, not interest groups. Please always consider that.
  • Give more consideration to homeowners and quit catering to IACI.
  • Way too much money is being spent on “pork”. Something must be done to curb this. We also have too many “well off” people getting way too many tax breaks that the middle and lower income people do not get. Why should these lower income people have to support
  • We should take a good look at all of the exemptions that are granted. Why should any one group bear a greater share of the tax burden? Any one who benefits from living or gains assets from doing business should pay equally. Maybe a flat tax is the way to
  • Represent and stand up for the common interest of Idaho not the special interest of a select few.
  • Property taxes are too high, the Governor and legislature choose to give breaks to Corporations over people.
  • Having developed and sold a number of commercial properties over the past 20 years, I know that Assessors do not value farms and commercial properties at the actual “market value”. In order to correct this problem, I think the legislature should make it m

Dealing with growth

  • Fast growing areas must be permitted to fully tax new construction so that it pays for itself.
  • While some growth in Idaho is necessary, the current growth rate is out of control and is placing an undue burden on our infrastructure. It needs to be strictly regulated.
  • I live in Teton County, which is being heavily impacted by development, especially by the second-home industry.  Teton County is going broke and cannot provided needed services.  The county desperately needs to assess impact fees on new developments, but
  • Growth SHOULD have to pay for itself.
  • Managing development will determine the future quality of life in Idaho.
  • While the developers discount has been abused, it has also created incentives to hold off on development. More funding for the maintenance of open space, easements, etc. should be made available to farmers/ranchers as an opportunity to subdividing their property presents itself.
  • They go up every year. That has to stop unless the court house wants own everything around. The property in our town has been inflated to a point the locals can no longer buy a home.
  • Property tax increase is out of control; most harmed are those who have lived in their homes for sometime, and we are forced to pay for the impact of thousands of newcomers on water, sewer, roads, schools, and jails.
  • Property taxes are under the purview of local government, but there are ways and means where the local and state governments should work jointly to address sky-rocking property taxes.  Granting Local Option Authority is just one solution.
  • Property tax should be about paying for services used by the property – not about making development easier.
  • Let’s have a more balanced tax policy which benefits the greatest number of Idaho citizens and attracts investment which creates communities instead of developments…..

Homeowners and home appreciation

  • Let’s increase the homeowner’s exemption to $75,000 linked to the housing price index, take care of our low income elderly and disabled.
  • Citizens need to feel that the system is fair. Primary consideration for relief should go to owner-occupied homes, and policies that encourage lower income home ownership. Long time homeowners need some protection from rapid increases in assessments.
  • It is imperative that people are not taxed out of their homes.  This is the main issue in my mind.
  • I know property taxes have continued to increase and even though tax levy rates may have remained even, the growth in valuations have placed a burden on many taxpayers.
  • It’s a complicated issue but that the guiding principle should be property taxes are taxes on unrealized gain. Homeowners must be sheltered from rapidly rising market values.
  • The shift that has occurred placing more of the property tax burden on homeowners should be reversed.  While it is an unpopular tax, Idaho is well served having a three legged stool (property, sales and income) of taxation.

Need for spending and/or valuation caps

  • Any cut in taxes must be accompanied by a cut in spending.  A system to fund public services and monitor government spending must be in place before taxes are cut.
  • We not only need the exemption updated and indexed, But a cap on assessments and spending as well! An exemption with no caps will be ineffective within two years at best. We need more than just a band-aid! If you need to ammend the constitution, so be it!
  • Idaho should adopt a statewide policy similar to California’s Proposition 13 – it is ridiculous to pay taxes on the market value of a home rather than what you paid for it (until you sell). I don’t pay income taxes on what I ‘could’ earn – only on what I
  • LOCAL Govt’s and schools must show greater restraint in spending.
  • Cap property tax at 2% dollar growth per year regardless of need.  Each property’s value to be set at the time of purchase.  Similar to California’s Prop 13 years ago.


  • Don’t destabilize the schools.
  • Local taxing districts, primarily schools, do not trust the legislature to remove any of the stable property tax and replace it with sales taxes because the legislature has already demonstrated, by capping the previous scheme, that they will not honor their commitment
  • Let’s underscore the long term investment of spending more education dollars per student from our property taxes.
  • We need a more equitable system of financing schools than relying on the property tax in which various districts have differential ability to pay.

Threat of initiative

  • You must address the issue fairly and responsibly or the voters will have initiatives that you will have to address very soon. This issue cannot be ignored.
  • There must be more than a “token” approach to property tax issues.  If this is not done, there will be an initiative similar to California Prop 13.
  • You’re going to shoot yourselves in the foot if you don’t get this under control.
  • The solutions have to be straight forward, the results have to be clear.  If the legislature fails to act equitably, they face the chaos of an initiative.

Not just local problem

  • The legislature must not duck the issues by passing the problem on to some future study or to local governments.
  • Sluffing off responsibility to someone else (i.e. the local government) does not appropriately represent the best interests of your constituents. Be a statesman, not a politician!