New numbers: I.F. value increases slightly

Bonneville County officials reported that Idaho Falls’ total property value is up slightly over last year’s valuation.

Earlier preliminary numbers had shown a slight decrease.

The city’s taxable property appears to be worth about $30 million, or about 1 percent more than last year, according to data provided by County Clerk Ron Longmore. The most recent estimate puts the city’s value at just under $3 billion.

Those numbers remain preliminary.

“These are brand new numbers that the county hasn’t released to us,” City Controller Thane Sparks said. “Those really won’t be solid numbers until they go through the (tax assessment) appeals.”

But Sparks said the new numbers are encouraging.

“From my point of view, it’s positive,” he said. “We were behind the curve when the recession happened in 2008, and we’re kind of behind it in the upward turn. But at least it shows that we are on the mend.”

City Council President Michael Lehto said preliminary assessments of the city’s valuation are unstable, however, and he expects them to change again before early August, when the numbers used to draw up the city’s budget are sent from the county to the city.

“I’ve found over my tenure that those numbers are ever-changing,” he said. “The fact that it’s $30 million up right now — I don’t even use that as a benchmark. It could be $50 million down tomorrow. It could be $100 million up in the middle of July.”

Lehto said the new numbers do little to change his overall view of the upcoming budget.

“When I do my budget analysis, my thought processes are basically we are not going to get any tax (revenue) increase from (increased) valuation,” he said. “It’s just a flat year for growth.”