Have you ever heard the term “tax exemption” and wondered which lucky dogs are getting them?
I’m not talking about sales tax exemptions or tax relief programs, I’m talking about property tax exemptions. We all know the dreaded April 15 deadline, but April 15 is also the deadline for most property tax exemptions in the state of Idaho.
All property in Idaho is subject to tax unless specifically exempt (government property, schools, etc.). Exemptions are never presumed and the onus is solely on the claimant to establish a right to the exemption, in other words, the taxpayer must show a clear right to an exemption.
Navigating and applying for exemptions can be extremely confusing, but finding the right office to help you is key. The Bonner County Commissioner’s Office and the Bonner County Assessor’s Office are the two main offices that handle various property exemption requests.
The Bonner County Commissioner’s Office is responsible for all non-profit exemptions such as churches, religious societies, religious societies, fraternal, voluntary or charitable organizations, public libraries, public cemeteries and various other organizations non-profit. However, just because your organization is registered with the IRS as a 501(c)3 doesn’t mean you’re automatically exempt from property taxes, submitting a claim is the best way to find out. The Commissioner’s Office also assists with agricultural exemptions (less than five acres), developer’s rebate (Idaho Code 63-602W), and certain commercial exemptions (Idaho Code 63-602NN).
The Bonner County Assessor’s Office is responsible for lumber and agriculture exemptions, homeowner (property) exemptions, and circuit breaker exemptions. Timber and agriculture exemptions are common, but have complex rules that you must prove you meet to permanently receive one or the other or both. The Homeowner’s Exemption is a fairly general exemption that almost all homeowners are eligible for, the biggest caveat is that you must reside in your home for at least six months out of the year.
The Circuit Breaker is an exemption, but also a form of tax relief for qualified applicants. The amount of the reduction is based on household income for the previous calendar year. If you qualify, property taxes on your home and up to one acre of land can be reduced. You may qualify under one or more categories, including: 65 or older, widowed, blind, veteran with a service-connected disability, and/or disabled (as recognized by the Social Security Administration). Please contact the Bonner County Assessor’s Office if you believe you qualify at 208-265-1440.
In Title 63, Chapter 6 of the Idaho statute, there are several other examples of property tax exemptions. All requirements are complex and may require legal assistance to navigate.
If you have any questions regarding this information or other Bonner County related matters, please do not hesitate to contact me at 208-265-1438 or [email protected]