Property owners in Lemhi County receive their annual assessment notices early in June, which notifies the owner of the current year’s market value for their property. The value is used to determine the amount of property taxes due later in the year.
The estimate is based on the new value, but uses the tax levies from the previous year. The actual tax bill will be mailed out in November by the County Treasurer, and will be based on the new levies.
Property owners are urged to review the assessment notices carefully, and contact the County Assessor’s office if they have any questions. The office is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The assessment notice provides information about further appeals procedures.
Idaho law requires the assessor’s office to reappraise property on a five year cycle, meaning each property will be physically reappraised at least once every five years to assure that it is as close to market value as possible. Each of the other four years of the cycle, the law requires that a market adjustment be applied to the property, based on the selling prices of similar properties, to keep the property value in line with market trends.
Anyone who has questions about their assessment or the appeals process should contact the assessor’s office to review their appraisal as soon as they receive the assessment notice. It is important that they don't wait until they receive their tax bills to review their assessments. Idaho law requires that appointments for protests be made on or before the fourth Monday in June.
The function of the assessor’s office is to place value on properties, which represents typical sale and/or purchase prices of similar properties. This procedure is known as placing market value on property. All property is assessed as of January 1 each year using sales or property occurring between January 1 and December 31 of the previous year. If too few or no sales are available, the assessor can use sales from other time periods, or from similar areas.
The assessor’s office defends values or appraisals using current sales information of comparable properties and making adjustments for dissimilar characteristics between the subject and sales. This process demonstrates that the subject property is valued according to market sales.
To achieve a meaningful and productive appeal, the property owner should supply evidence that establishes error in the appraisal of the property. It is important to employ comparables from the same location as the subject and to consider age, type and condition. Sales occurring this year will be considered for next year’s assessment. It is essential to understand the definition of typical when supplying information to the assessor. When several comparable properties sell, the assessor applies the average or typical values gathered from such data in determining the assessment instead of picking the highest or lowest values.
Often, people enter the assessor’s office wanting to protest property taxes rather than appeal their property appraisal. There are methods available to protest taxes. Property taxes are used by schools, local government and other taxing districts. Concerned taxpayers should protest spending by attending the annual budget hearings of each taxing district affecting them. Budget hearings are open to the public and offer invitation to anyone with comments. Make personal contact with elected officials who authorize and control spending (i.e. school board members, mayors, city councilmen, and county commissioners). Voicing concern with elected officials will influence spending and the efficiency of the departments they direct.
The assessor’s office strives to place fair market value on property and has no authority to adjust the spending level of schools and local government.