2005 Legislation
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HOUSE BILL NO. 31 – Property tax relief, definitions


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Bill Status

H0031...............................................by REVENUE AND TAXATION
PROPERTY TAX RELIEF - Amends existing law relating to property tax relief
to revise the definitions for "claimant" and "owner."
01/24    House intro - 1st rdg - to printing
01/25    Rpt prt - to Rev/Tax
02/02    Rpt out - rec d/p - to 2nd rdg
02/03    2nd rdg - to 3rd rdg
02/07    3rd rdg - PASSED - 69-0-1
      AYES -- Anderson, Andrus, Barraclough, Barrett, Bastian, Bayer,
      Bedke, Bell, Bilbao, Black, Block, Boe, Bolz, Cannon, Chadderdon,
      Clark, Collins, Crow, Deal, Denney, Edmunson, Ellsworth, Eskridge,
      Field(18), Field(23), Garrett, Hart, Harwood, Henbest, Henderson,
      Jaquet, Jones, Kemp, Lake, LeFavour, Loertscher, Martinez, Mathews,
      McGeachin, McKague, Miller, Mitchell, Moyle, Nielsen, Nonini,
      Pasley-Stuart, Pence, Raybould, Ring, Ringo, Roberts, Rusche,
      Rydalch, Sali, Sayler, Schaefer, Shepherd(2), Shepherd(8), Shirley,
      Skippen, Smith(30), Smith(24), Smylie, Snodgrass, Stevenson, Trail,
      Wills, Wood, Mr. Speaker
      NAYS -- None
      Absent and excused -- Bradford
    Floor Sponsor - Smith(24)
    Title apvd - to Senate
02/08    Senate intro - 1st rdg - to Loc Gov
02/10    Rpt out - rec d/p - to 2nd rdg
02/11    2nd rdg - to 3rd rdg
02/18    3rd rdg - PASSED - 33-0-2
      AYES -- Andreason, Broadsword, Bunderson, Burkett, Burtenshaw,
      Cameron, Coiner, Compton, Corder, Darrington, Davis, Gannon, Geddes,
      Goedde, Hill, Jorgenson, Kelly, Keough, Langhorst, Little, Lodge,
      Malepeai, Marley, McGee, McKenzie, Noble, Pearce, Richardson,
      Schroeder, Stegner, Stennett, Werk, Williams
      NAYS -- None
      Absent and excused -- Brandt, Sweet
    Floor Sponsor - Langhorst
    Title apvd - to House
02/21    To enrol
02/22    Rpt enrol - Sp signed
02/23    Pres signed
02/24    To Governor
03/02    Governor signed
         Session Law Chapter 31
         Effective: 07/01/05

Bill Text

  ]]]]              LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO             ]]]]
 Fifty-eighth Legislature                   First Regular Session - 2005
                              IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
                                     HOUSE BILL NO. 31
                             BY REVENUE AND TAXATION COMMITTEE
  1                                        AN ACT
  4    Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Idaho:
  5        SECTION  1.  That  Section  63-701, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
  6    amended to read as follows:
  7        63-701.  DEFINITIONS. As used in this chapter:
  8        (1)  "Claimant" means a person who has filed a claim under the  provisions
  9    of  sections  63-701 through 63-710, Idaho Code. Except as provided in section
 10    63-702(2), Idaho Code, on January 1, or before April 15, of the year or before
 11    April 15  in which the claimant was first filed a claim on  the  homestead  in
 12    question,  a  claimant must be an owner of a the homestead and on January 1 of
 13    said year a claimant must be:
 14        (a)  Not less than sixty-five (65) years old; or
 15        (b)  A child under the age of eighteen (18) years  who  is  fatherless  or
 16        motherless  or  who has been abandoned by any surviving parent or parents;
 17        or
 18        (c)  A widow or widower; or
 19        (d)  A disabled person who is recognized as disabled by the  social  secu-
 20        rity  administration pursuant to title 42 of the United States Code, or by
 21        the railroad retirement board pursuant to title 45 of  the  United  States
 22        Code, or by the office of management and budget pursuant to title 5 of the
 23        United States Code; or
 24        (e)  A  disabled veteran of any war engaged in by the United States, whose
 25        disability is recognized as a service-connected disability of a degree  of
 26        ten  percent  (10%) or more, or who has a pension for nonservice-connected
 27        disabilities, in accordance with laws and regulations administered by  the
 28        United States veterans administration; or
 29        (f)  A  person,  as specified in 42 U.S.C. 1701, who was or is entitled to
 30        receive benefits because he is known to have been taken by a hostile force
 31        as a prisoner, hostage or otherwise; or
 32        (g)  Blind.
 33        (2)  "Homestead" means the dwelling, owner-occupied  by  the  claimant  as
 34    described in this chapter and used as the primary dwelling place of the claim-
 35    ant  and may be occupied by any members of the household as their home, and so
 36    much of the land surrounding it, not exceeding one (1) acre, as is  reasonably
 37    necessary for the use of the dwelling as a home. It may consist of a part of a
 38    multidwelling  or  multipurpose building and part of the land upon which it is
 39    built. "Homestead" does not include personal property such as furniture,  fur-
 40    nishings or appliances, but a manufactured home may be a homestead.
 41        (3)  "Household"  means  the  claimant and the claimant's spouse. The term
 42    does not include bona fide lessees, tenants, or roomers and boarders  on  con-
 43    tract.  "Household"  includes  persons  described in subsection (8)(b) of this
  1    section.
  2        (4)  "Household income" means all income received by the claimant and,  if
  3    married, all income received by the claimant's spouse, in a calendar year.
  4        (5)  "Income" means the sum of federal adjusted gross income as defined in
  5    the  Internal  Revenue Code, as defined in section 63-3004, Idaho Code, and to
  6    the extent  not already included in federal adjusted gross income:
  7        (a)  Alimony;
  8        (b)  Support money;
  9        (c)  Nontaxable strike benefits;
 10        (d)  The nontaxable amount of any individual retirement  account,  pension
 11        or annuity, (including railroad retirement benefits, all payments received
 12        under  the  federal  social  security act except the social security death
 13        benefit as specified in  this  subsection,  state  unemployment  insurance
 14        laws,   and  veterans  disability  pensions  and  compensation,  excluding
 15        rollovers as provided in section 402 or 403 of the Internal Revenue Code);
 16        (e)  Nontaxable interest received from the federal government  or  any  of
 17        its  instrumentalities  or a state government or any of its instrumentali-
 18        ties;
 19        (f)  Worker's compensation; and
 20        (g)  The gross amount of loss of earnings insurance.
 21    It does not include capital  gains,  gifts  from  nongovernmental  sources  or
 22    inheritances.  To  the  extent  not  reimbursed,  the  cost of medical care as
 23    defined in section 213(d) of the Internal Revenue Code, incurred  or  paid  by
 24    the  claimant  and,  if  married,  the claimant's spouse, may be deducted from
 25    income. To the extent not reimbursed,  personal  funeral  expenses,  including
 26    prepaid  funeral  expenses  and premiums on funeral insurance, of the claimant
 27    and claimant's spouse only, may be deducted from income up to an annual  maxi-
 28    mum  of  five  thousand  dollars ($5,000) per claim. "Income" does not include
 29    veterans disability pensions received by  a  person  described  in  subsection
 30    (1)(e)  who  is a claimant or a claimant's spouse if the disability pension is
 31    received pursuant to a service-connected disability of a degree of forty  per-
 32    cent  (40%) or more. "Income" does not include lump sum death benefits made by
 33    the social security administration pursuant to 42 U.S.C. section 402(i). Docu-
 34    mentation of medical expenses may be required by the county assessor, board of
 35    equalization and state tax commission in such form  as  the  county  assessor,
 36    board  of equalization or state tax commission shall determine. "Income" shall
 37    be that received in the calendar year immediately preceding the year in  which
 38    a  claim is filed. Where a claimant and/or the claimant's spouse does not file
 39    a federal tax return, the claimant's and/or the  claimant's  spouse's  federal
 40    adjusted gross income, for purposes of this section, shall be an income equiv-
 41    alent  to federal adjusted gross income had the claimant and/or the claimant's
 42    spouse filed a federal tax return, as determined by the county  assessor.  The
 43    county  assessor,  board  of  equalization or state tax commission may require
 44    documentation of income in such form as each shall determine,  including,  but
 45    not  limited  to:  copies  of federal or state tax returns and any attachments
 46    thereto; and income reporting forms such as the W-2 and 1099.
 47        (6)  "Occupied" means actual use and possession.
 48        (7)  "Owner" means a person holding title in fee simple or holding a  cer-
 49    tificate  of  motor vehicle title (either of which may be subject to mortgage,
 50    deed of trust or other lien) or who has retained or been granted a life estate
 51    or who is a person entitled to file a claim under section 63-702, Idaho  Code.
 52    "Owner" shall also include any person who:
 53        (a)  Is  the  beneficiary of a revocable or irrevocable trust which is the
 54        owner of such homestead and under which the  claimant  or  the  claimant's
 55        spouse has the primary right of occupancy of the homestead; or
  1        (b)  Is  a partner of a limited partnership, member of a limited liability
  2        company or shareholder of a corporation if such entity holds title in  fee
  3        simple  or  holds  a  certificate of motor vehicle title and if the person
  4        holds at least a five percent (5%) ownership  in such  entity,  as  deter-
  5        mined by the county assessor; or
  6        (c)  Has retained or been granted a life estate.
  7    "Owner"  includes  a vendee in possession under a land sale contract. Any par-
  8    tial ownership shall be considered as ownership for determining initial quali-
  9    fication for property tax reduction benefits; however, the amount of  property
 10    tax reduction under section 63-704, Idaho Code, and rules promulgated pursuant
 11    to  section  63-705,  Idaho  Code,  shall  be  computed  on  the  value of the
 12    claimant's partial ownership. "Partial ownership," for the  purposes  of  this
 13    section,  means  any one (1) person's ownership when property is owned by more
 14    than one (1) person or where the homestead is held by an entity, as set  forth
 15    in this subsection, but more than one (1) person has the right of occupancy of
 16    such homestead. A person holding either partial title in fee simple or holding
 17    a certificate of motor vehicle title together with another person but who does
 18    not occupy the dwelling as his primary dwelling place, shall not be considered
 19    an  owner  for  purposes of this section, if such person is a cosignatory of a
 20    note secured by the dwelling in question and at least one  (1)  of  the  other
 21    cosignatories of the note occupies the dwelling as his primary dwelling place.
 22    The combined community property interests of both spouses shall not be consid-
 23    ered  partial  ownership  so long as the combined community property interests
 24    constitute the entire ownership of the homestead, including where the  spouses
 25    are occupying a homestead owned by an entity, as set forth in this subsection,
 26    and the spouses have the primary right of occupancy of the homestead. The pro-
 27    portional  reduction  required under this subsection shall not apply to commu-
 28    nity property interests. Where title to property is was held by a  person  who
 29    has  died without timely filing a claim for property tax reduction, the estate
 30    of the deceased person shall be the "owner," provided that  the  time  periods
 31    during  which  the  deceased person held such title shall be attributed to the
 32    estate for the computation of any time  periods  under  subsection  (8)(a)  or
 33    (8)(b) of this section.
 34        (8)  (a) "Primary  dwelling  place" means the claimant's dwelling place on
 35        January 1 or before April 15 of the year for which the claim is made.  The
 36        primary  dwelling place is the single place where a claimant has his true,
 37        fixed  and  permanent home and principal establishment, and to which when-
 38        ever the individual is absent he has the intention of returning. A  claim-
 39        ant  must establish the dwelling to which the claim relates to be his pri-
 40        mary dwelling place by clear and convincing evidence  or  by  establishing
 41        that  the  dwelling  is  where the claimant resided on January 1 or before
 42        April 15 and:
 43             (i)   At least six (6) months during the prior year; or
 44             (ii)  The majority of the time the claimant  owned  the  dwelling  if
 45             owned by the claimant less than one (1) year; or
 46             (iii) The  majority of the time after the claimant first occupied the
 47             dwelling if occupied by the claimant for less than one (1) year.  The
 48             county  assessor  may require written or other proof of the foregoing
 49             in such form as the county assessor may determine.
 50        (b)  Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (a) of  this  subsection,
 51        the  property upon which the claimant makes application shall be deemed to
 52        be the claimant's primary dwelling place  if  the  claimant  is  otherwise
 53        qualified  and  resides in a care facility and does not allow the property
 54        upon which the claimant has made application to  be  occupied  by  persons
 55        paying  a consideration to occupy the dwelling. Payment of utilities shall
  1        not be payment of a consideration to occupy  the  dwelling.  A  claimant's
  2        spouse  who  resides  in  a care facility shall be deemed to reside at the
  3        claimant's primary dwelling place and to  be  a  part  of  the  claimant's
  4        household.  A care facility is a hospital, nursing facility  or intermedi-
  5        ate care facility for the mentally retarded as defined in section 39-1301,
  6        Idaho Code, or a facility as defined in section 39-3302(16),  Idaho  Code,
  7        or  a  dwelling other than the one upon which the applicant makes applica-
  8        tion where a claimant who is unable to reside in the dwelling  upon  which
  9        the  application  is made lives and receives help in daily living, protec-
 10        tion and security.

Statement of Purpose / Fiscal Impact

                       STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

Section One:  Section 63-701(1) of the Idaho Code provide
definitions for the determination of whether a claimant applying
for what is commonly called "circuit breaker" tax relief is
actually entitled to that tax relief.  However, the existing
statute fails to make clear whether the list of criteria in
subparts (a) through (g) of the definitions must be met on January
1 of the relevant year or can be met at a later date during the
year.  This bill clarifies that the date for determination is in
fact January 1.

Section Two:  Existing Section 63-701(7) of the Idaho Code states,
in part, that:

     "Owner" includes a vendee in possession under a land sale

The word "land" indicates that perhaps land must be included in the
sales contract, which causes confusion.  There are thousands of
homes on leased land and/or mobile homes that are considered
personal property which currently are under contract sale and are
nonetheless currently receiving homeowner's and property tax
reduction benefits statewide. Therefore, this change would have no
fiscal impact nor change the current administration of the
programs. The change would simply clarify that sales contracts do
not necessarily have to have "land" involved as part of the
contract sale. Since Section 63-602G directly refers to Section 63-
701 (c) for the definition of ownership, this change would take
care of both homeowner's and circuit breaker tax relief.

Additionally, the said part (7) states, as set forth in the last
sentence of the bill:

     "Where title to property is held by a person who has died
     without timely filing a claim for property tax reduction, the
     estate of the deceased person shall be the "owner", provided
     that the time periods during which the deceased person held
     such title shall be attributed to the estate for the
     computation of any time periods under subsection (8)(a) or
     (8)(b) of this section."

The verb "is" at the beginning of that sentence should more
properly be "was", since the person has died, and the estate of the
person became the owner of the property immediately upon such

                          FISCAL IMPACT

This bill will have no fiscal impact.

Name:  Robert L. Aldridge
Phone: Office: (208) 336-9880  Home: (208) 888-4668  
       Cell: (208) 631-2481  Fax: (208) 336-9882