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IAC News Blast

Jul 03

What is the Board of Tax Appeals?

Posted on July 3, 2014 at 10:23 AM by Mindy Linn

Many Idahoans have not heard of the Board of Tax Appeals (the Board).  Those involved in assessment and taxation matters, on the other hand, are likely aware of the Board.   But even those who know of the Board may not fully understand what it is and more importantly, why it exists.  The goal of this narrative is to clear up some of those questions and provide a more complete picture of the Board.

The Idaho Legislature established the Board of Tax Appeals in 1969 for the purpose of providing Idaho taxpayers with an independent, low-cost review of most local and state tax assessment decisions.  The Board consists of three members who are appointed by the governor to serve in staggered three-year terms.  Board members typically come from diverse political, geographical, and professional backgrounds.  This diversity is a key element in the Board’s ability to evaluate tax appeals from an independent perspective.   The current Board consists of Chairman David Kinghorn, from eastern Idaho, Linda Pike from northern Idaho, and Leland (Lee) Heinrich from southwest Idaho.      

Board appointments are not intended to be full-time positions.  The Board of Tax Appeals, however, is a full-time agency located in Boise, which operates year-round.  To keep the agency running throughout the year, the Board is supported by a Director/Clerk to the Board, and four full-time staff members; including two hearing officers who assist the Board in hearing appeals.  

Aimed at the key objective of providing a low-cost tax appeal option, the Board does not charge fees to applicants filing an appeal.   In-person hearings are typically scheduled in the county wherein the property is situated for ad valorem appeals.  This prevents county personnel and taxpayers from having to incur travel expenses to attend a hearing in Boise.  In limited instances the Board may conduct a hearing via telephone rather than in person.

The Board is empowered to hear most valuation or tax-related disputes.  The most common matters brought to the Board are ad valorem appeals, which are challenges concerning taxable property valuations.  Also included in this class of appeals are property tax exemption appeals.  The remainder of the Board’s docket is typically filled with income tax, and sales and use tax appeals.  The varying appeal types further underscore the importance of having a diverse Board, with different professional backgrounds.

A number of parties can appeal to the Board after a final decision is issued by a taxing authority.  This includes not only taxpayers, but also the county assessor, in the case of a decision made by the county board of equalization.  There are specific timeframes during which appeals to the Board can be made.  Generally, ad valorem appeals must be filed with the county auditor (clerk) within 30 days of a decision of the county board of equalization.  Appeal deadlines are provided in Idaho Code §§ 63-511 and 63-3049.  Once an appeal is filed, Idaho Code § 63-511(2) allows 30 days for the county auditor to transmit all appeals and accompanying evidence to the Board.  From that point forward, all notices and intervening matters, including hearing dates and times, are managed by the Board until a final decision is issued.

The Board, however, is not the only avenue for appellate review.  Nor does the Board necessarily represent the last step in the appeal process.  Following a decision by a taxing authority, either party can chose to file an appeal directly with the district court rather than with the Board.  Likewise, all final decisions and orders of the Board are appealable to district court.  Filing fees, however, are required to pursue a matter in district court.  Generally an appeal to district court must be filed within 28 days of a final decision or order of the Board, or within 30 days following a decision of the county board of equalization.

Hopefully the above narrative provides a better understanding of the general workings of the Board.  More information about the Board, as well as appeal forms and instructions are available on the Board’s website - www.bta.idaho.gov.  The same information and resources can also be requested by phone (208-334-3354) or in writing to 3380 Americana Terrace, Suite 110, Boise, Idaho 83706.  If you are interested in observing a hearing of the Board of Tax Appeals, please contact the Boise office either by phone or mail for scheduling information.  


Jun 19

Idaho Counties Receive 2014 Federal PILT Payments

Posted on June 19, 2014 at 4:07 PM by Seth Grigg

The Department of the Interior released payments to counties this past week under the federal Payment-In-Lieu of Taxes program (PILT). Nationwide, 1,900 units of local government will receive PILT payments of approximately $436.9 million. The share of the national payment for Idaho’s 44 counties is just over $28,579,192 or 6.8%. Nationally, Idaho ranks seventh in total state PILT payments, trailing only California ($45,298,833), Colorado ($34,530,642), Arizona ($34,497,956), Utah ($37,903,225), New Mexico ($37,677,905), and Montana ($28,809,242).

Congress enacted PILT in 1976 to provide eligible units of local government with payments for public lands managed by the federal government and exempt from property tax. While PILT is not equivalent to the  property taxes that would otherwise be paid to eligible units of local government, it provides a much needed source of revenue to help pay for general government operations, public safety and law enforcement programs, road maintenance, and solid waste disposal. In Idaho, only county governments are eligible for PILT payments. Each of Idaho’s 44 counties receive PILT revenues from the federal government. PILT was fully funded for the first time in 2008. Prior to 2008 counties received only a portion of the full authorized amount. Full funding of PILT expires on September 30, 2014. If full funding is not extended, counties can expect to see reduced payments in 2015.

PILT payments are calculated based on the number of eligible federal acres within a county (or otherwise eligible jurisdiction). The formula to calculate PILT also includes a other factors including certain prior year federal land payments (including SRS and Mineral Leasing payments) and population. Eligible counties receive a payment based on the higher amount of one of two formulas. In 2014, the formulas are either $2.58 per eligible acre minus certain year prior year payments or $0.36 per eligible acre with no prior year payment deduction.

In Idaho, Elmore County is the highest recipient of PILT, receiving $2,299,807 for 2014, a per acre payment of $1.69 and 8.05% of the total state payment. Lewis County has the lowest PILT payment of $7,942, a per acre payment of $2.58 and 0.03% of the state payment. At $2.61/acre, Jerome County is the recipient of the highest per acre payment while Clark County has the lowest per acre payment at $0.22/acre. Boundary County experienced the greatest year-over-year increase in PILT at 100.34% while Canyon County experienced the smallest year-over-year increase at 2.39%. Statewides the increase was 8.56%. See the table below for county specific 2014 PILT information. A more detailed analysis will be released soon.


County

Eligible Fed Acres

2014 PILT

% Increase from 2013

Per Acre PILT

Ada

298,254

$768,397

7.31%

$2.58

Adams

544,336

$195,785

8.95%

$0.36

Bannock

213,414

$486,380

6.97%

$2.28

Bear Lake

285,531

$556,564

8.11%

$1.95

Benewah

47,248

$79,369

30.72%

$1.68

Bingham

300,336

$773,688

7.03%

$2.58

Blaine

1,323,839

$1,904,692

7.42%

$1.44

Boise

883,629

$391,157

33.07%

$0.44

Bonner

454,126

$625,832

12.28%

$1.38

Bonneville

588,274

$1,232,429

7.55%

$2.09

Boundary

475,236

$362,097

100.34%

$0.76

Butte

894,314

$336,080

7.57%

$0.38

Camas

443,563

$159,540

7.97%

$0.36

Canyon

19,141

$49,057

2.39%

$2.56

Caribou

446,453

$359,964

10.53%

$0.81

Cassia

922,506

$2,126,255

7.22%

$2.30

Clark

702,099

$151,913

7.75%

$0.22

Clearwater

845,357

$638,517

1.66%

$0.76

Custer

2,934,060

$754,352

7.36%

$0.26

Elmore

1,357,157

$2,299,807

7.15%

$1.69

Franklin

139,422

$241,090

11.76%

$1.73

Fremont

701,927

$862,307

7.42%

$1.23

Gem

132,422

$259,430

4.91%

$1.96

Gooding

251,430

$648,015

7.04%

$2.58

Idaho

4,524,739

$1,644,514

8.09%

$0.36

Jefferson

189,657

$488,875

7.04%

$2.58

Jerome

96,880

$252,495

7.18%

$2.61

Kootenai

244,512

$630,272

10.40%

$2.58

Latah

101,703

$262,158

13.57%

$2.58

Lemhi

2,641,279

$950,006

8.05%

$0.36

Lewis

3,081

$7,942

7.01%

$2.58

Lincoln

585,251

$868,792

7.13%

$1.48

Madison

63,040

$74,216

15.52%

$1.18

Minidoka

178,912

$461,178

6.95%

$2.58

Nez Perce

31,959

$80,445

8.70%

$2.52

Oneida

408,381

$654,043

10.08%

$1.60

Owyhee

3,635,489

$1,303,868

7.15%

$0.36

Payette

64,067

$161,510

4.18%

$2.52

Power

293,367

$756,194

6.96%

$2.58

Shoshone

1,232,010

$443,126

8.82%

$0.36

Teton

96,455

$155,028

1.77%

$1.61

Twin Falls

638,143

$1,644,779

7.06%

$2.58

Valley

2,046,144

$738,420

8.26%

$0.36

Washington

339,671

$738,614

7.54%

$2.17

Total

32,618,814

$28,579,192

8.56%

$0.88