1998 Legislation
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HOUSE BILL NO. 528 – Property tax/home exmptn/COLA


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Daily Data Tracking History

H0528..................................by ROBISON, ALEXANDER, BIETER, ET AL
PROPERTY TAX - HOMEOWNER'S EXEMPTION - Amends existing law to provide an
annual cost-of-living adjustment to the homeowner's property tax exemption.

01/28    House intro - 1st rdg - to printing
01/29    Rpt prt - to Rev/Tax

Bill Text


 ||||              LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO             ||||
Fifty-fourth Legislature                 Second Regular Session - 1998

                             IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                                    HOUSE BILL NO. 528


 1                                        AN ACT

 6    Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Idaho:

 7        SECTION 1.  That Section 63-602G, Idaho Code, be, and the same  is  hereby
 8    amended to read as follows:

10    During the tax year 1983 and each year thereafter, the  first  fifty  thousand
11    dollars  ($50,000)  of the market value for assessment purposes of residential
12    improvements, or fifty percent (50%) of the market value for  assessment  pur-
13    poses  of  residential  improvements, whichever is the lesser, shall be exempt
14    from property taxation.   During the tax year 1998 and each year thereaf-
15    ter, the tax exemption provided in this section shall be adjusted for cost-of-
16    living changes as provided in section 63-705, Idaho Code. 
17        (2)  The exemption allowed by this section may be granted only if:
18        (a)  The residential improvements are owner-occupied and used as the  pri-
19        mary dwelling place of the owner as of January 1. The residential improve-
20        ments  may consist of part of a multidwelling or multipurpose building and
21        shall include all of such dwelling or building  except  any  portion  used
22        exclusively for anything other than the primary dwelling of the owner. The
23        presence  of  an  office  in an owner-occupied residential property, which
24        office is used for multiple purposes, including business and personal use,
25        shall not prevent the owner from claiming the exemption provided  in  this
26        section; and
27        (b)  The tax commission has certified to the board of county commissioners
28        that  all  properties  in the county which are subject to appraisal by the
29        county assessor have, in fact, been appraised uniformly so as to secure  a
30        just valuation for all property within the county; and
31        (c)  The owner has certified to the county assessor by April 15 that:
32             (i)   He is making application for the exemption allowed by this sec-
33             tion;
34             (ii)  That  the  residential  improvements  are  his primary dwelling
35             place; and
36             (iii) That he has not made application in any other  county  for  the
37             exemption,  and  has  not  made  application for the exemption on any
38             other residential improvements in the county.
39        (d)  For the purpose of this section, the definition of owner shall be the
40        same definition set forth in section 63-701(8), Idaho Code.
41             When an "owner" is any person who  as  grantor  created  a  revocable
42        trust and named himself or herself as beneficiary of that trust, he or she
43        may  provide  proof of the revocable trust with an affidavit stating:  (i)


 1        the name of the grantor; (ii) a statement that the grantor is the  benefi-
 2        ciary  of  the  trust;  (iii)  the trust is revocable during the grantor's
 3        lifetime; and (iv) the grantor is the owner-occupier  of  the  residential
 4        property  and uses the property as the primary dwelling place of the owner
 5        as of January 1.
 6             The affidavit shall include the attaching of the copies of those por-
 7        tions of the trust which set forth the grantor,  the  grantor  as  benefi-
 8        ciary, the revocable character  of the trust and the signature page of the
 9        trust.
10        (e)  Any  owner  may  request  in  writing the return of all copies of any
11        revocable trust created by the owner that are held by a  county  assessor,
12        and the copies shall be returned by the county assessor upon submission of
13        the  affidavit  set  forth  in  paragraph (d) of this subsection in proper
14        form.
15        (f)  For the purpose of this section, the definition of "primary  dwelling
16        place"  shall be the same definition set forth in section 63-701(9), Idaho
17        Code.
18        (g)  For the purpose of this section, the definition of  "occupied"  shall
19        be the same definition set forth in section 63-701(7), Idaho Code.
20        (3)  An  owner  need  only make application for the exemption described in
21    subsection (1) of this section once, as long as all of  the  following  condi-
22    tions are met:
23        (a)  The  owner  has  received the exemption during the previous year as a
24        result of his making a valid application as defined in  subsection  (2)(c)
25        of this section.
26        (b)  The  owner still occupies the same residential improvements for which
27        he made application.
28        (c)  The residential improvements described in subsection (3)(b)  of  this
29        section  are  owner-occupied and used as the primary dwelling place of the
30        owner as of January 1.
31        (4)  The exemption allowed by this section must be taken before the reduc-
32    tion in taxes provided by sections  63-701  through  63-710,  Idaho  Code,  is
33    applied.
34        (5)  The legislature declares that this exemption is necessary and just.
35        (6)  Residential  improvements  having  previously qualified for exemption
36    under this section in the preceding year, shall not  lose  such  qualification
37    due  to  the  owner's absence in the current year by reason of active military
38    service in a designated combat zone, as defined in section 112 of the internal
39    revenue code. If an owner fails to timely apply for exemption as  required  in
40    this  section  solely by reason of active duty in a designated combat zone, as
41    defined in section 112 of the internal revenue  code,  and  such  improvements
42    would  have  otherwise  qualified under this section, then the board of county
43    commissioners of the county in which the residential improvements are  located
44    shall  refund  property  taxes,  if previously paid, in an amount equal to the
45    exemption which would otherwise have applied.

46        SECTION 2.  An emergency existing  therefor,  which  emergency  is  hereby
47    declared to exist, this act shall be in full force and effect on and after its
48    passage and approval, and retroactively to January 1, 1998.

Statement of Purpose / Fiscal Impact


        RS 07431
    This bill would adjust the upper limit for the homeowner exemption, now $50,000, for inflation in the same 
    way that the qualifying limit for the circuit breaker law is adjusted for the cost of living. The upper limit 
    has not changed since 1983. Had it been adjusted for inflation it would now be more than $70,000. With 
    this change, if the cost of living adjustment is 3 per cent, the upper limit would rise to $51,500 for tax year 
    1998. It would benefit about 20 per cent of homeowners, those who have "topped out" the existing 
    $50,000 limit.
                              FISCAL IMPACT
    Had this measure been in effect for 1997 total residential taxes in Idaho would have risen $24.2 million 
    rather than $25.5 million. If the taxable value on a home rises $1,500 or more, there would be no 
    reduction in taxes collected on that home by local government. If taxable value did not rise, there would 
    be a reduction averaging $22.50 for each home that has topped out the $50,000 limit. This varies by 
    county. Some counties have relatively few homes in that category.
    Contact: Rep. Ken Robison
          Phone (208) 332-1000
    Statement of purpose/fiscal impact
    H 528