Idaho Property Taxes

Property Tax Resources

How do your property taxes measure up? We asked the city administrator

If the city of Twin Falls' early budget proposal holds true, then property tax rates will go up even though overall spending will go down.
It seems contradictory, but it's all a part of the machinations of property taxes - a process that could leave a homeowner paying more per $1,000 of a home's value but less overall if that value plummets. And, this early in the process, Twin Falls City Manager Travis Rothweiler said he needed to play an especially negative Nostradamus, predicting a substantial decline in the total property value of the city, to reach the 4 percent hike to property tax rates that's in his early city budget.
While the process is still early and everything about the Twin Falls city budget could still change, here's some basic facts about the city property tax rate:
How are city property tax rates set?
A city doesn't control its property tax rate outright - it only controls its spending. The tax rate is reached by taking a city's spending and dividing it by the total assessed value of the area. The result is the property tax rate.
Because of the way this formula is set up, if a city wants to spend the same as last year but the value of the community has gone down, then the rate will go up. Conversely, a city can also take in more and still charge an overall lower rate if the community's total value skyrocketed.
Where does the 4 percent increase in Twin Falls property taxes come from?
The potential 4 percent increase to the Twin Falls property tax rate - from $6.92 to $7.20 per $1,000 of taxable value - comes from Rothweiler's possibly "over-pessimistic" prediction of the city's decline in value.
The projected tax rate may also go down, if total value for Twin Falls - which includes new construction - remains about the same as it did last year. Rothweiler said he plans to get a better estimate from Twin Falls County Assessor Gerry Bowden.
What would a higher tax rate get me?
If the property tax rate rises in the coming budget year, it will still collect fewer dollars than last year's lower tax rate did. The preliminary Twin Falls city budget is about $20,000 less than this year's.
It is important to note than none of this is final: The Twin Falls City Council will be debating the budget for weeks to come, possibly tweaking it or making large changes to the amount spent and where it is spent. Likewise, the total value of the community may not take as big of a hit as projected - or any hit at all.