Homeowner’s exemption to increase in 2008


Officials say impact still largely unknown

Homeowners will see an increase in their maximum homeowner’s exemption next year, according to the Idaho State Tax Commission.

The maximum homeowner’s exemption for 2008 will increase to $100,938 – the maximum exemption for 2007 is $89,325. However, state officials say the immediate impact to homeowners and the public services that rely on property taxes will not be known until tax rates are released in 2008.

Rick Anderson, property tax policy specialist with the Idaho State Tax Commission, said the maximum exemption was increased because the housing index for Idaho experienced an average increase.

“It’s written in statute that each year we look at the exemption in relation to the housing index,” Anderson said. “However, it’s more of a revenue shift rather than a revenue crunch for property taxes.”

He said taxes from other sectors would compensate for any reduction in property taxes due to the exemption. The growing number of homeowners and a rise in property values will also help offset a loss in property taxes.

But officials said it is too early to tell what the impact will be on each county in Idaho.

“The 2008 exemption amount of $100,938 doesn’t apply to any property tax bills homeowners receive for 2007,” said Alan Dornfest, property tax supervisor. “We won’t know the affect it has until next year’s property values and taxes are figured out.”

Since 1980, Idaho has provided a partial property tax exemption to qualified homeowners for primary dwelling and up to 1-acre. The law exempts 50 percent of the assessed value from taxation; however, the exemption can’t exceed a maximum value that changes each year based on the Idaho Housing Price Index.

For more information about the home exemption and the housing price index, visit these sites:

• The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight: http://www.ofheo.gov/

• Idaho State Tax Commission: http://tax.idaho.gov/

Four changes

in 27 years

1980 $10,000

1983 $50,000

2006 $75,000

2008 $89,325

Figures show increases in exemption since introduction

Joshua Palmer can be reach at (208) 735-3231, Magicvalley.com


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