The property tax system in Idaho is a principal source of funding for many things. For example, local-level public services, school districts, and local governments.
In addition, taxes levied on property also fund long-term investments, such as infrastructure development and capital projects.
In 2015, the Idaho taxing district collected $1.6 billion in property taxes. Municipal governments took a 26.7 percent share, while the county government pocketed 26.4 percent. School districts took the lion’s share of the revenue – accounting for a 30.1 percent share.
Taxes in the Gem state are relatively low when compared to the rest of the nation. While a typical Idaho homeowner pays $1,276 every year, the average homeowner elsewhere pays $920 more.
Homeowners Exemption in Idaho
One reason to explain this significant difference in property tax is the homeowner’s exemption. The exemption, capped at a value of $100,000 for the year 2018, exempts all owner-occupied primary residents by fifty percent of the property’s market value.
Let's take a look at Idaho property taxes in a little more detail.
How do Idaho Property Taxes Work?
Homeowners can pay Idaho property taxes in two installments. The first installment is due on the 20th of every December while the second installment is due the 20th of June.
The taxes levied are based on your property’s full market value. Each county has an assessor who helps determine the full market value of every property. Generally speaking, the county assessor uses comparative data from recently sold homes to come up with your home’s market value.
Once the value has been assessed, it’s only then that exemptions can be applied. In Idaho state, the biggest tax exemption is the homeowner's exemption.
As already mentioned, it’s equal to fifty percent of the home’s value and one acre of land and can only be claimed on an owner-occupied primary residence.
The homeowner's exemption is for people that live in the property they have purchased. However, for people who are looking to buy real estate as an investment and have tenants living in the property, this homeowner’s exemption isn’t available.
Let's take a look at an example. If your home is assessed and valued at $200,000 then with the 50% homeowner’s exception your total taxable value would be $100,000.
Other special exemptions are available to certain groups that meet income requirements, including widows and widowers, blind homeowners, minors without parents, former prisoners of war, and people aged 65 and older.
In addition to the base city/county tax rate, there is generally additional add-on fees to be aware of, such as Bonds and Supplements.
Here's an example of an actual rental property's tax bill:
Code Area: 01-44
Total Assessed Value: $182,300
Homeowner's Exemption: -0- (because it is not owner-occupied)
Boise City: 1,297.42
School #1 M & O: 621.53
School #1 Bond: 127.61
School Supplement: 98.22
School #1 Other: 1.95
Ada County: 538.43
Ada Co Highway: 168.41
College of Western Idaho: 27.99
Emergency Medical: 26.62
Dry Creek Cemetery: 6.84
Mosquito Abatement: 5.16
Total District Levy = .016018432
Plus Certifications & Special Assessments:
Drainage District #2: 6.50
Total tax due: $2,926.68
Idaho Property Taxes by County
Since Idaho has several taxing districts, tax rates often vary. Cities generally levy higher tax rates than rural areas. The average statewide urban tax rate stands at 1.511 percent while the rural rate is 0.994 percent.
Ada County Property Tax
Ada County lies in the state’s southwestern part. According to recent estimates, the county has a population of 420,000 people. This makes it Idaho’s most populous county. The county’s property tax rate is 0.77 percent, ranking it eleventh in the state in terms of highest tax rates.
The median annual property tax payment in the county is $1,544.
Canyon County Property Tax
Canyon County is tucked on the west end of the beautiful Treasure Valley in the heart of Idaho. At 0.94%, the county has the highest average property tax rate in the state.
But, because its median home value is low ($131,300), the median property tax payments is still below average ($1,240).
Latah County Property Tax
Latah County is located in the state’s north central region. The county’s average effective tax rate is 0.83%. The median property tax payment in Latah County is $1,634.
Nez Perce County Property Tax
Nez Perce County is located in the state’s north central region. It ranks as the fourth highest in the state in terms of the average effective property tax rate (0.92%). And at $1,551 annually, it ranks third in the state in terms of the median property tax payment.
Bonner County Property Tax
Bonner County is located in the northern part of Idaho. At just 0.56%, it has the 8th lowest effective tax rate in the state. That is almost half the country’s average. The median home value is $210,000. At that value, the property taxes would be about $1,175.
Bingham County Property Tax
Bingham County is the state’s 12th biggest county and is located in the state’s southeastern region. The average total tax rate in the county is 1.6%.
Twin Falls County Property Tax
Twin Falls County is located in the south central part of the state. The county’s effective tax rate is slightly above the state average (0.82%). But with a lower median home value, the median property taxes are also lower ($1,226).
Bannock County Property Tax
Bannock County is a county located in the state’s southeastern region. With a tax rate of 0.92%, it ranks 3rd in terms of the highest property taxes in the state. A homeowner with a home valued at $100,000 would pay $1,840 annually in property taxes.
However, this amount would vary greatly depending on the property’s location. In Bannock County, the average urban property tax rate is roughly twice the average rural rate.
Bonneville County Property Tax
Bonneville County, in southeast Idaho, is part of the Upper Snake River Valley. Recent estimates put the county’s population at around 110,089. The average effective property tax rate in the county is 0.77%.
At that rate, expect to pay $1,202 annually in property taxes if you have a home worth $160,000.
The information contained herein isn’t tax advice, neither is it a substitute for tax advice. If you have specific questions, please contact Idaho’s State Tax Commission to learn more.