Assessor's OfficeAssessing real and personal property for tax purposes, titling and registration of vehicles
Stacy Swift Dreyer – Assessor
Location & Mailing Address:
201 Industrial Ave.
PO Box 46
Council, ID 83612
Phone: (208) 253-4271 Option 2
Fax: (208) 253-4361
Hours: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
Department of Motor Vehicles
Location & Mailing Address:
201 Industrial Ave.
PO Box 46
Council, ID 83612
Phone: (208) 253-4271 Option 3
Hours: 8:00 am to 4:30 pm
Assessor Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What are the Important Tax Dates?
- March 15 Due date for Agricultural classification applications
- April 15 Due date for homeowner’s exemption applications and property tax reduction (circuit breaker) applications
- Mid to late May Assessment Notices must be mailed by the first Monday in June
- 3rd Monday in May Due date for preliminary budgets for next fiscal year (beginning October 1)
- June 20 Due date for second half of prior year’s tax payment
- 4th Monday in June Deadline for Board of Equalization appeals
- End of June County Auditor sends value estimates to taxing districts
- 2nd Monday in July Board of Equalization closes. Assessment Roll is forwarded to County Auditor.
- 1st week of September State Tax Commission sends Operating Property values to County Auditor
- 2nd Monday in September County Auditor receives budget requests
- 3rd Monday in September County Auditor sets tax levy rates
- 4th Monday in October State Tax Commission reviews and approves tax levy rates
- November 1 County Auditor computes individual property tax charges and sends them to Treasurer for billing
- 4th Monday in November County Treasurer mails the tax bills
- December 20 Due date for first half of property tax payments (full payment may be made at this time)
- December 31 Due date for timber classification applications and timber management plans
How is property assessed?
Idaho law requires that all taxable property be assessed at market value each year. The county assessor develops valuation guidelines based on sales prices and some of the features of homes that have recently sold. Some of the features that often influence what a buyer would pay for your home and land include size, quality, age, condition, and location. This information is used to estimate how much a buyer might reasonably pay for your home if it were to sell on January 1st of the assessment year.
How often are property values adjusted?
Property values may change each year depending on real estate market changes. An appraiser from the assessor’s office is required to visit your property at least once in each five-year period. During the other four years, the assessor will use information from property sales and/or from the inspections of other properties to estimate the current market value for your property.
The county assessor uses this information to estimate how much a buyer might reasonably pay for your home if it were to sell on January 1st of the assessment year.
How can my property be assessed on improvements when I haven’t made any?
In property assessment the term “improvements” does not refer only to remodeling, renovating or upgrading. “Improvements” are buildings (house, garage, manufactured home, etc.), paving, or other structures that add value to your land regardless of when they were completed.
What is personal property?
Taxable personal property consists of items used commercially, such as furniture, fixtures, art, farm equipment, signs, unregistered aircraft and unregistered watercraft. It also includes items used commercially for convenience, decoration, service, or storage. Please contact the assessor’s office with specific questions.
What personal property is assessed?
All personal property in Idaho, unless expressly exempt, is subject to assessment and taxation. Forms for your use in listing of personal property are available from the assessor’s office.
What if personal property is not reported?
The county assessor is required to assess property that is not declared. The assessment is estimated based upon the best information available.
At what value is personal property assessed?
Personal property is assessed at retail market value. This value includes shipping and installation costs. Several methods are used to arrive at the value. Depreciation tables, sales information, cost guides, and other resources are used in this process.
How are my personal property taxes determined?
The Assessor does not determine tax amounts. The amount of taxes is determined by the budgets of the taxing districts in which the personal property is located.
What if I close or sell my business?
If you sell or close your business during the year, you should contact the assessor’s office as soon as possible. The assessor will explain how the assessment will be handled.
What makes property real or personal?
Real property consists of land and the improvements attached to it. Personal property is normally not attached to the land but is generally mobile. It does not last as long as real property.
Personal property used by the owner in his or her private home is not subject to property tax (household furnishings, for example). If the same property is used in a business activity whether in a private home or elsewhere, it is subject to property tax.
Properly registered vehicles, including recreational vehicles, are not subject to property tax.
How do I know what value has been estimated for my property?
The value for your property is shown on your assessment notice. This notice is usually mailed to you by the first Monday in June. Contact the assessor’s office if you do not receive this notice.
What if I disagree with the value estimated for my property?
The assessor’s office maintains a file of information on your property. If you have questions about your assessment, request the assessor review the accuracy of the records. You may appeal the valuation to the Board of Equalization (which consists of the county commissioners) for the county in which the property is located. Most appeals must be filed with your county clerk by the fourth Monday in June. Properties assessed at other times of the year have different appeal dates.
Property values maintained by the assessor’s office are public records. You may ask to review the value of other properties in that county.
You must be prepared to document your reasons for requesting a change in your property’s assessed value and prove that the assessor’s value is not the current market value of the property.
How is my property tax determined?
The amount of tax is determined from the budget needs of the taxing districts. There are many kinds of taxing districts in Idaho. Some, like cities and counties, levy taxes to provide a wide range of services. Others levy taxes for specific purposes like highways, schools, or fire protection.
Officials for each taxing district determine the annual budget needed to provide services for the district. The approved budget is divided by the total taxable value of all properties within the district.
The result is the district’s tax rate. This rate, multiplied by the taxable value of your property, determines the amount of taxes you owe to the district.
Every property is located within several independent-taxing districts which means your property tax bill includes taxes for all the districts in which you live. This combination of taxing districts is known as a “tax code area.” Each of these areas is assigned a number that appears on your assessment notice and tax bill. Within each tax code area, the total tax rate is generally the same for all properties.
The taxable value of your property determines how much tax you pay in relation to other properties. Assessments must be accurate for all taxpayers to pay their fair share of the total property taxes.
How does the assessor determine the value on my property?
Buyers and sellers in the real estate market establish value. The assessor’s staff researches the market and collects information about properties to estimate value.
The assessor’s office has no control over tax rates.
The Assessor uses standard methods, which utilize the three traditional approaches to value (cost, market, and income), to estimate the fair market value of a given property.
It is important to note that the Assessor is simply measuring the information produced in the market to determine the estimated value. The economic principles of supply and demand, along with the desires of the purchasers and sellers of property, determine fair value.
Why do property values change?
A property’s value may change for a number of reasons. The most obvious is that the property changes. A bedroom, garage, or bathroom is added, or part of the property is destroyed by vandalism or fire.
The most frequent cause of a change in value is a change in the market. If a community’s major industry leaves, property values can collapse. As older neighborhoods with good quality housing are discovered by young homebuyers, prices gradually rise and then may even soar as the neighborhood becomes fashionable. A shortage of detached homes in a desirable city neighborhood can send prices to extreme levels. In a recession, larger homes may stay on the market for a long time, but more affordable homes are in demand, so their prices rise.
In a stable neighborhood, with no extraordinary pressure from the market, inflation may increase property value.
How are the taxes on my property determined?
Taxpayers need services. The taxing districts (counties, cities, schools, highways, fire, water, sewer, library, etc.) are required to provide services needed by their constituencies. This drives the budget to provide those services.
The budget is used to determine a levy rate. The levy rates for each individual taxing district where a property is located are added together to arrive at the total tax rate for any particular property.
This rate is multiplied by the net taxable value of the property to determine the amount of the tax charged.
The levy rates for each taxing district and the total levy rate appear on the tax bills mailed by the Treasurer’s Office.
For more information contact the Adams County Treasurer’s Office.
When will I get my property tax bill?
You should usually receive your tax bill by the end of November. If you have questions about your tax bill, contact your county treasurer.
How can my taxes go up if my property’s taxable value doesn’t increase?
Tax rates may increase due to a taxing district’s emergency needs or voter-approved bonds and override levies. Total tax rates may increase due to the creation of a new taxing district that includes your property.
For example, if business has declined and slowed for local industry or agriculture, a county’s economy may suffer and affected property values may go down. However, your taxes may be higher since taxing districts still need to pay for basic services.
Are there limits on increases in property taxes?
Yes. Most taxing districts have limits on the tax rates they may charge. Additionally, districts are limited to annual increases of three percent plus an allowance for growth on a portion of their budgets. The growth allowance is determined on the basis of new construction and annexation that occurred during the previous year.
Why do I pay higher taxes than my neighbor?
You may live in a different taxing district than your neighbor. Also, your property may appear similar to your neighbor’s but there may be enough differences in land size, square footage of homes, quality or condition of land that result in value differences between properties.
Also, your neighbor may be eligible for some form of property tax reduction for which you either did not qualify or did not apply.
Is there any tax relief available to homeowners?
Yes. Idaho has a homeowner’s exemption for owner-occupied homes, including manufactured homes, which are primary dwellings. This exempts 50% or $89,325 (for 2007), whichever is less, of the value of your home (including up to one acre of land). Taxes are computed on the remaining value. You may also receive the homeowner’s exemption if you are paying occupancy taxes. The homeowner’s exemption is based on the HPI (House Price Index) each year.
Exemption applications are available from the assessor’s office. When an application is approved, the exemption is permanent as long as you own and occupy the property. If the property is sold, the new owner must file a new application.
Although there are no income or age restrictions you can only quality for an exemption on one home at a time. You must own and occupy your home on January 1 of the tax year and must apply for an exemption by April 15th.
You may also qualify for a property tax reduction if you meet the income requirements and fit into one of the following categories:
1. Age 65 or older, widow or widower
3. Former POW
4. Fatherless or motherless minor
5. Qualifying disabled
Applications may be obtained from the assessor’s office and must be filed each year between January 1st and April 15th.
What is an occupancy tax?
If you purchase and move into a newly constructed home (that has never before been occupied) after January 1st, you will pay an occupancy tax instead of property taxes for the portion of the year you live there. You must notify the assessor on or before the date you move into your new home. You can apply for a homeowner’s exemption on the occupancy tax.
How do I get the mailing address changed on my property?
The Assessor’s Office is responsible for maintaining the property database with the correct owner name and mailing address. The Change of Address Request may not be used to change the owner’s name on a property.
In order to change the address, we need to be able to identify your property or properties. Please provide the Assessor’s Parcel Number or serial number (on the tax bills, the Treasurer calls this a “Bill Number”).
We require a written request to change the mailing address for Assessment Notices. You may complete a Change of Address Request form available at the assessor’s office, send a written change of address in a letter, on a postcard, or Post Office change of address form or we can mail you the Change of Address Request form. You may also send us a copy of your Assessment Notice or tax bill showing the change. Our mailing address is: PO Box 46, Council ID 83612
In the past year, the County has re-addressed rural lands (outside any city limits) for 911 purposes (for emergency vehicles to locate properties in emergencies). Some mailing addresses were changed using a computer conversion program. However, not all addresses were included in this change. It is up to the landowner to assure that we have the correct mailing address.
If you did not receive an Assessment Notice, contact the assessor’s office to determine what address we have on record.
How do I change the name of the owner on my property?
There is a wide variety of situations in which the ownership of a property or name on the property might change. These include, but are not limited to, sale of property, death of one of the owners, addition of owners, removal of owners, and foreclosure on a property.
The assessor’s office is not able to provide legal advice to owners or potential owners on how to handle a change of name/ownership. Therefore, we recommend that you contact a title company or an attorney to advise you on the procedure.
If you think that you have all the documentation needed to effect a name change, please bring it directly to the assessor’s office. A mapping analyst will review the material to see if it is sufficient for us to process a name change.
How do I correct the acreage on my property?
Each situation involving a question of acreage or change in the acres is different and must be examined individually by a Mapping Analyst.
Acreage amendments need to be researched and calculated. Additional information supplied by the property owner may help in this regard. Please inform the Mapping Department of any surveys or description changes to your property that would be helpful in determining the proper acreage for any given parcel.
For more information contact the Mapping Department in the Assessor’s Office.
How do I correct or change the boundaries of my property, such as a lot line adjustment?
Each situation involving a change in boundaries is different and must be examined individually by a Mapping Analyst.
Changing the boundaries of properties may involve deeds for lot line adjustments between neighbors. A title company or surveyor can assist in the creation of the necessary documents to complete the lot line adjustment. A survey may be needed to comply with the requirements for State mapping standards.
The Assessor’s Office cannot provide legal advice or assist you in the creation or amendment of documents or surveys.
For more information contact the Mapping Department in the Assessor’s Office.
How do I convert my manufactured home into real property?
Can I reverse a manufactured home from real property to personal property?
Please refer to the instructions on the back of the form “Statement of Intent to Declare Manufactured Home to Real Property.” The form is available from the assessor’s office. A Deputy Assessor will sign the form verifying that the land and home are under the same ownership.
The owner will then contact the building department located within his or her jurisdiction for inspection to verify the home is set according to Idaho Code 63-304.
The owner will have has his or her signature notarized and return the completed “Statement of Intent” form along with the original title to the manufactured home to the Recorder’s Office to record both documents. The Recorder’s office will return the original “Statement of Intent” and original title to the owner.
After recording, the owner will take the original “Statement of Intent” form and original title (NO COPIES) to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The DMV then forwards the documents to the Idaho Department of Transportation in Boise, and this office will eliminate the title for the manufactured home.
Can I reverse a manufactured home from real property to personal property?
Obtain a form from the Assessor’s Office called a “Reversal of Declaration of Manufactured Home to Real Property.”
Prepay the current year’s property taxes on the home in the County treasurer’s office. If necessary, obtain a permission letter from the lender on the mortgage.
The owner’s signature should be notarized and then recorded in the Recorder’s Office.
The owner then takes the recorded “Reversal of Declaration” form (the original) to the Department of Vehicles to obtain a receipt of title. The new title is issued by the Idaho Department of Transportation in Boise.
How do I change the location of my manufactured home?
The owner must first prepay the current year’s property taxes on the manufactured home. A mover will not hook onto the home for transport unless the owner provides the receipt from the Treasurer’s Office showing that the taxes are prepaid.
How do I change ownership on my manufactured home?
THE TITLE IS THE LEGAL OWNERSHIP. Obtain a form from the Assessor’s Office. The current year’s property taxes on the home must be prepaid. The new owner takes the Treasurer’s prepaid tax receipt to the Department of Motor Vehicles to have the title changed.
If the manufactured home is your primary residence, apply to the “Mobile Home” Department of the Assessor’s Office for the Homeowners Exemption.
How do I find out the name of a property owner and other property details?
The quickest way is to provide the assessor’s office with a parcel number to be entered into the property database.
Other methods include: A name search of the database; a property can be identified if the assessor is given the name of the platted subdivision and the lot and block numbers; a property may be identified from a partial list of addresses in the county; if the only information available is its location, you may locate it on a map in the assessor’s office, which provides parcel numbers that can be entered into the database to retrieve information about the parcel.
In addition to ownership name, mailing address and possible location address, other information that may be available in the parcel database includes, acreage of the parcel, assessed value, homeowner’s exemption, timber and agricultural classifications, and types of improvements on the land. It does not include telephone numbers or Social Security numbers.
Other databases may provide the year built and square footage of structures, room grid, building dimensions, other residential characteristics, ownership history, records of some building permits and septic permits and homeowner exmptions.
Can I see or purchase a map of my property?
Shape files of parcels within the county can be purchased for $350.00.
Plat maps covering all properties in Adams County are located in the assessor’s office. They are filed first by township, then by range, then by section, and then by quarter section. You can see these maps at the Assessor’s Office in the Adams County Courthouse at 201 Industrial Avenue, Council. The office is open from 7:00 am to 5:30 pm, Monday through Friday.
There are numerous maps which show the parcel numbers for each property. To find out which map shows your property, the assessor’s office needs that parcel number or a legal description.
The assessor’s office can make photocopies of portions of the plat maps. The cost is $0.25 for each page.
ONLINE SHAPE FILES
Shape files are now available on the internet from the State of Idaho. These shapes only include the parcel number. No name or tax information is available. You need to come to the assessor’s office to get that information.
Instructions on how to navigate the ISTC map service is here. You need to have Adobe reader to view these instructions and a high-speed internet connection as the file is about 11mb in size
View the Idaho map service at http://www.idahomaps.org/drupal1/node/2
View the Adams County map service at http://www.idahomaps.org/Countysupport/Adams.html
What other maps can I purchase?
You can also purchase from the assessor’s office:
- Survey maps – $4.00 per page
- Recorder’s plat maps (platted subdivisions) – $4.00 a page
- Aerial photos – $2.00
What is the Timber Program; how do I qualify and apply for the timber classification?
The Idaho Code describes forest land as privately-owned land held and used primarily to grow and harvest trees of a marketable species and may be further identified by consideration of any of the following criteria:
1. Present use and silvicultural treatment evidence forestland.
2. Forest land has a dedicated use, which is further evidenced by a forest land management plan that includes eventual harvest of the forest crop required by Adams County.
3. Forest land is bearing forest growth or land NOT converted to another use.
4. Forest land which has had the trees removed by man through harvest, including clear cuts or by natural disaster, such as, but not limited to, fire, and which, within five (5) years after harvest or initial assessment, will be reforested as specified by the Forest Practices Act (Idaho Code, Chapter 13, Title 38).
ACREAGE REQUIREMENTS: To qualify for the timber program, forestland owners must devote a minimum of 5.0 fully-stocked acres, excluding any improvements, to management of the timber for eventual harvest. Forest land ownership is held in two ways:
1. Ownership of 5.0 or more acres but less than 5,000 acres
2. Ownership of 5,000 or more acres
The deadline to submit timber applications and management plans is December 31 of each year to qualify for the timber program in the following year. You must submit one application form, called the “Owner’s Designation of Forest Land Option,” for each individually assessed parcel. You may submit a Timberland Management Plan to cover each group of contiguous parcels (adjacent, or sharing the same parcel border) that you will manage as a single stand of timber. Timber application packets are available in the Assessor’s Office or you may request the forms by calling or writing our office.
FOREST LAND (TAX) OPTIONS WITHIN THE TIMBER PROGRAM: There are two forest land assessment options from which individual landowners (fewer than 5,000 acres total statewide ownership) may choose. The individual owners must designate which option under which they want their lands assessed. They are required by law to place all of their timberland ownership statewide under the same option.
Either option requires that landowners manage their timber as a crop that will be commercially harvested and sold (in part or whole) at some point in time. If landowners do not wish to raise their trees for harvest, they should not apply for this program.
When land is accepted into the timber program, it is classified as timberland and is assessed at a lower rate per acre than full market value rates. The intent is to enable landowners to use the tax dollars saved to actively manage the timber for harvest. The rates vary in Idaho according to your land’s location in one of four value zones within the State. The assessment rates per acre within each zone vary according to whether the land is graded as good, medium or poor production ground (production is how much tree growth occurs per acre, per year.). These production grades are placed by the Assessor’s Office.
For landowners with ownership of 5,000 or more acres, the forest tax law requires that the land be assessed under the Land Productivity tax option. For ownership of 5.0 acres to 5,000 acres, the owner may select either the Land Productivity option or the Bare Land and Yield option. A landowner must designate all their forestland in the State of Idaho under the same option.
LAND PRODUCTIVITY OPTION: Under this option, every year the landowner pays taxes on the assessed value for the land and projected year growth. The owner does not pay taxes on the timber when it is harvested. When the timbered acres are removed from the timber program for any reason, the land is assessed at full market value. However, the landowner is not required to pay back taxes on the difference in value between full market value and the lower, taxable values placed on the land while it was in the program.
BARE LAND AND YIELD OPTION: Under this option, the landowner defers a portion of the property tax to be paid later.
1. The assessed value is calculated using rates much lower than those for the Land Productivity option. The owner pays taxes on this lower value for the timberland every year as for any other type of property.
2. In addition, a 3% yield tax is billed on the value of the timber itself when it is harvested. An advantage of this option is that the property tax may be paid partly from the income generated by sale of the timber.
3. When the land is removed from the Bare Land and Yield option or the timber program, deferred tax may be billed. This tax is based on the difference in total value between the Land Productivity option and the Bare Land and Yield option for the years the land was in the program, not to exceed ten (10) years, and less credit for any yield tax already paid. If the land is removed from the program because it is being developed, the deferred tax calculations are based on the difference between the Bare Land and Yield value and full market value.
4. A possible advantage of this option is that deferred tax may be paid out of the proceeds of the sale of the land. A possible disadvantage is that non-payment of deferred tax may result in a lien against the property.
5. Contact the Assessor’s Office for information on calculation of yield and deferred tax.
LENGTH OF THE TIMBER PROGRAM: The land remains in the program for as long as a landowner actively manages the land for eventual timber harvest. A landowner may remove the land from the program at any time, effective as of January 1 of the next year. Owners of 5.0 to 5,000 acres of timberland may elect to change the assessment (tax) option on all properties in the timber program in the State as of the ten-year anniversary of the 1982 Forest Tax Law. In 2002 owners had the opportunity to change timber categories taking effect January 1, 2003. The next opportunity after that to change options will be in 2012 to take effect in 2013.
What is the Agricultural Program and how do I apply?
The Idaho Code describes agricultural land as land actively devoted to agriculture and a part of a bona fide profit-making agricultural venture. The land is further described as land:
1. Used to produce field crops, including, but not limited to, grains, feed crops, fruits, and vegetables; or
2. Used by the owner or bona fide lessee for grazing of livestock to be sold as part of a net profit-making enterprise; or
3. In a cropland retirement or rotation program.
4. Land shall not be classified or valued as agricultural land which is part of a platted subdivision with stated restrictions prohibiting its use for agricultural purposes.
5. Land utilized for grazing of a horse or other animals kept primarily for personal use or pleasure rather than as part of a bona fide profit-making agricultural enterprise shall not be considered to be land actively devoted to agriculture.
The intent of the program is to encourage landowners to use their land to produce a marketable product for public consumption. For example, an owner may produce fruits and nuts from trees or graze their cattle on the grass or hay growing on the land. If the land must lie fallow for a period of time to improve future growth of crops or grazing ground and is in a government-sponsored program for this purpose, this land may be included even though it may not be producing a marketable product at the current time.
1. If the total area of such land, including the home site, is more than five contiguous acres (may be a group of separately assessed parcels with common boundaries), the owner may make initial application for the program. To continue the agricultural classification in future years, the owner must then ensure that the land continues to be devoted to agricultural use or show that it has been placed or continues to be in a crop retirement or rotation program.
2. If the total area of such land is five acres or less, the owner may make initial application and must show that the land was actively devoted to agriculture during the last three growing seasons and:
Agriculturally produces for sale or home consumption the equivalent of 15% or more of the owners’ or lessees’ annual gross income; or Agriculturally produced gross revenues in the immediately preceding year of $1000 or more, including net income per sale of livestock. When the area is five acres or less, such land shall be presumed to be non-agricultural land until established that these requirements have been met.
The landowner must provide proof of these minimum incomes each year for the land to remain in qualification.
APPLICATION DEADLINE: Regardless of the total acreage of the agricultural land, initial application must be made in the Assessor’s office by March 15 of the year in which the owner is seeking the agricultural classification on the land. For land that is five (5.0) acres or less in size, the landowner must provide proof of income (from the year before) by March 15 each year.
VALUATION OF AGRICULTURAL LAND: When property is accepted into the agricultural program, it is classified as dry cropland, irrigated cropland, dry grazing, or irrigated grazing. There are a number of different assessment rates that apply to the land according to its ability to produce crops or grazing grasses. The value is calculated by multiplying the acres in the program by one of these rates, which are lower than the per acre rates for full market value, to obtain the taxable value. These rates are based on the income approach (potential income from the land), are provided by the State Tax Commission, and change each year. This program does not provide a true exemption but a reclassification according to the land’s agricultural use.
LENGTH OF THE PROGRAM: The land remains in the program for as long as a landowner actively manages it as agricultural land, whether or not it produces crops or is in rotation. When land is removed from this program, it is then assessed at full market value. The landowner is not required to pay back taxes on the difference in value between full market value and the lower taxable values placed on the land while it was in the program.
YIELD TAX: If the grazing ground is timbered or there are small areas of timbered ground included in the acres classified as cropland, the landowner will be required to pay a 3% yield tax on timber harvested and delivered to a mill. The agricultural rates per acre do not account for potential income from the trees. The total taxable value depends upon the species of trees and the quantity harvested (by the thousand board feet).
*All fees are subject to change without notice.