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Board of Commissioners meets with public to discuss 2019 tax assessment

UPDATE: Despite the meeting last night, the Pocatello/Bannock County Homeowners’ Alliance is moving forward with the recall petition.

“I felt validated, because nothing’s going to change. We’re still not getting due process. And more than the valuations, that’s a big problem,” said Claudia Ortega, the founder of the alliance.

The alliance needs about 7,000 more signatures before Sept. 16 to get the recall on the November ballot.

The alliance will be at the Saturday Farmer’s Market and the Bannock County Fair in Downey to collect signatures. You can find out where the alliance will be located to sign the petition by clicking here.

Representatives from the Idaho State Tax Commission and the Bannock County Board of Commissioners held a public meeting about the process for coming up with property assessments.

The meeting began with the State Tax Commission and the commissioners walking through the process of how the assessor figures out the property assessments and the process of appeals.

Some clarifying points made were why some people received a 10 percent reduction and others didn’t. Commissioners said those who filed an appeal and did not get to meet with the Board of Equalization were given a 10 percent reduction across the board.

Those who feel their assessment still isn’t correct can appeal to the Board of Tax Appeals, which is at the state level. Those appeals can be filed at the County Clerk’s office in the Bannock County Courthouse.

Another point of clarification was how the assessments will affect people’s end of year taxes. The State Tax Commission reassured the public that property taxes will not go up by the percentage of the property assessment.

For example, if a home went up by 25 percent in value, the homeowners will not be paying 25 percent more in property taxes.

Idaho law says property tax revenues can only be raised by 3 percent every year by any individual.taxing district, with some exceptions, such as the North Bannock County Fire District levy that was voted in earlier this week.

People will know exactly what they’re paying in taxes this year in November when the tax bills are sent out, but the State Tax Commission says they’re available to walk people through their taxes before then if people are concerned.

“I think a lot of the question that were out there were answered. I think there’s been a lot of miscommunication and misinformation and I do think we were able to clarify what the state law really is and how the state law has to be followed in terms of assessment values,” said Tom Katsilometes, the Idaho State Tax commissioner. “We tried to clear things up here in Bannock county and if not, they certainly can give us a call, and we’ll try to help clarify that.”

Clarification: This story has been edited to clarify that any individual taxing district may only increase its property tax revenues by a maximum of 3% per year.

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