CANYON COUNTY, Idaho — The Canyon County Assessor’s Office mailed property assessment notices to home owners this week. In some cases, property values increased by 60%, according to Canyon County Assessor Brian Stender.
"There is a very limited supply and extreme demand, which made the market go up," Stender said.
Stender's office assesses a property's value based on comparable properties sales over the previous year. The real-estate boom is having negative impacts on some longtime owners.
Alma Driesel and her husband bought their Nampa home in 2006. They own a modest home on a 1-acre lot.
Driesel's property is assessed at $508,900, according to a letter from the assessor’s office. Last year, the same property held $374,700 in value.
"I started crying," Driesel said. "How are we gonna pay for this? I don’t have a big fancy house or nothing. I don’t understand.."
Driesel earns $700 a month from social security, while her husband still works to afford the mortgage. Inflation has stretched their budget thin and the couple now questions what they can afford.
"Gas - can I get gas this week? Now it's, can I pay taxes this year?" Driesel said.
Idaho tax districts cannot increase their annual budget by more than 3% from the previous year. For this reason, a 36% property value increase - in the case of Driesel - does not inherently mean a 36% increase to the property tax bill.
However, residential property is appreciating at a rate that exceeds commercial and industrial land, Stender said. Due to the appreciation, homeowners will take over a larger share of the property tax burden.
"I know inflation is out of control, but we had so many people move up here and that hurt the housing market right there," Driesel said. "We just need some kind of relief, at least from this property tax."
On the bottom of an assessment notice, a homeowner can find the local tax districts of which they pay. Phone numbers and budget hearing dates are listed. Stender encourages concerned property owners to use these resources to actively play a role in their local tax districts and the budgeting process.
Homeowners can call the Canyon County Assessor’s Office to discuss their assessment notice. Homeowners can also request an appeal form if they feel the appraiser made a mistake in the assessed value.
Some people - including Driesel - need relief today and the ongoing appreciation of their property’s value is turning an asset into a liability.
"It was worse this year than last year," Driesel said. "What’s next year gonna be? [Governor Brad Little] needs to step in and do something. I don’t know what the solution is, but it’s killing the rest of us."
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