County property valuations out of compliance


Jefferson County property valuations are likely to increase for 2019 after market values were augmented.

Matt Virgil with the Idaho State Tax Commission informed the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners March 4 that there are five primary categories they do a compliance study on if a county has had enough sales to warrant a study. The five categories include vacant residential, improved residential, vacant commercial, improved commercial and manufactured homes on leased land.

“We do what is called a final ratio study on the 2018 values,” he said. “Based on the levels here, they’re going to be out of compliance.”

The ratio study is an annual statistical study of the relationship between assessed values and market value, this is required by law to ensure that locally assess property is assessed at market value. Virgil said the county’s assessed property values are less than the current market value.

“It basically says the market is moving and there are adjustments that have to be made for your 2019 values,” he said. “The 2018 final values were out of compliance based on the standards.”

Virgil pointed out that Jefferson County is not the only county in the state that is currently out of compliance, indicating that 28 others are in a similar situation. He said property values throughout the whole state are increasing.

“You can’t turn on a news station without hearing something about how Idaho is growing, the secret is out,” he said.

County Assessor Jessica Roach said Jefferson County’s market has increased at least 12 percent since last year.

“Based on our sales, Jefferson County’s market has gone up at least 12 percent since last year over the course of 12 months,” Roach said. “Every year there will be a change (in values) if we have enough sales to determine that.”

Roach told The Jefferson Star March 5 that the exact increase in valuations will vary house-to-house and that she cannot give an exact number. She noted that although the market has increased by at least 12 percent, it doesn’t mean every property will increase 12 percent.

Roach stressed that just because values are increasing, it doesn’t mean taxes are necessarily increasing. She said often times when valuations go up, the levy rate decreases. Therefore taxes may stay the same for some properties.

“They could decrease,” she said.

She said patrons will likely not know how taxes will be affected until at least October.

Virgil said with the required adjustments, the county should return to compliance.

“I don’t think the public is going to be happy to see another 10 percent increase on their valuations,” Commissioner Scott Hancock said. “We’re in a dynamic system so to speak, the market is always changing.”

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