City Government

Local Government Tax Woes Could Worsen

As a follow up on the decline of about $3.5 billion in taxable property values, we did some checking with Ada Treasurer Cecil Ingram and find there is a trend among folks to NOT pay their property taxes, which is no surprise.

Ada county has sent out “tax deed” notices for $1.3 million in unpaid 2006 taxes. These notices are sent when taxes are delinquent 3 years and are the first step in taking away one’s property for non payment of taxes.

For 2007 they show $5 million in unpaid property taxes.

The scary figure is for the first HALF of 2008 $7.5 million has gone unpaid. It stands to reason that if someone cannot pay taxes for the first half of the year, they sure as heck can’t pay the second half. Look for the unpaid figure to increase as more people default on loans (Boise ranks #27 in USA Cities).

Currently the total taxes due, but unpaid in Ada is $193 million. Of that total, almost $14 million is delinquent.

What all this means is that local governments will not only have a 10% lower property value from which to draw (levy), some people are not paying at all.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Does Idaho have the same grotesque policy for tax acquired property as Maine? In Maine when the city takes property for unpaid taxes, say a $10K debt, they then promptly sell the property, clear say $100K and KEEP the entire windfall.

    EDITOR NOTE–They sell it to the highest bidder. That’s why the GUARDIAN paid a $5 irrigation tax for a guy a few years ago rather than have the matter pushed to the limit. Usually the bidder is the bank that holds the note.

  2. Mr. Watcher
    Apr 30, 2009, 8:13 am

    Remember the woman who’s husband died and she was sick in the hospital and her kids held off he police for days. This happened about six years ago and was up north of here. She had a nice pice of property that was worth a lot of money and owed something like five grand in back taxes. The county would not let anyone pay her taxes for her so they could steal a million dollar piece of property and get to keep all the money. Well the county did just that.
    Many folks are not paying their taxes because they do not have jobs and are hanging on. If the local government is going to kick these people out of their homes, when the local government are still spending like there’s no tomorrow. My hunch is there is going to be some folks that are not going to be put out of their homes without a fight. There is going to be blood letting on both sides. My personal feelings are the government will send in their armed goons and these monsters will murder children. This has happened before and one only needs to look at Ruby Ridge and Waco to understand that this is part of our world. This is the very last thing I and many others want to see but my hunch is we are going to see this sort of thing, like it or not.
    We have a government that will charge a father who is shoplifting a loaf of bread to feed his starving family thats waiting out in the parking lot, with felony burglary. The reason for such a charge is the parasites in the criminal justice system have bent the laws to do this for job security. Never mind they are cheating the citizens out of their tax money. Kind of makes me wonder who the real criminals are.
    So don’t look for the parasites in government to do the right thing and reduce government to the most basic services. Look for these parasites to withhold the most needed services to force people to go along with the spend, spend, spend that The Parasite is known for. Here’s a little fact: The parasites that are in our government that are bleeding us to no ends. Can not make the same kind of wages and bennies in the private sector. That’s a fact you can take to the bank if you have any money left after the parasites get done with you and your family.
    Yea, yea I know using my First Amendment rights to speak out against what I see as government abuse of the citizens has put me on the government/Department of Homeland Security’s hit list. I know some who are afraid to speak out because they fear their own government. Kind of makes me wonder where is that media that should have been the tool to safeguard America from such fears citizens have of their government today.

  3. Still, one has to pay ones taxes. I have no problem with seizing property and selling it for the nonpayment. My problem come when the government makes a windfall tax profit and the poor fellow whose home was seized does not get the difference between whet he owed plus cost of sales, and what was paid. Pocketing that extra loot is simply theft.

  4. Top this with the projected shortfall State income taxes and next year you will have less government. I understand the State Tax Commission is having a hard time paying tax refunds due to not having the cash on hand. Anybody know anything about this?
    I agree with Jimv on the county pocketing of owner equity in the case of a property sold for non payment of taxes. The county should only get what is owed plus interest.

  5. Wasn’t there a tax revolt somewhere in California a few years back. Everyone refused to pay there property tax and they bankrupted the county. Then basically started over. Hummmmmm wonder how that came out?

  6. Tom Anderson
    Apr 30, 2009, 5:32 pm

    My house first listed on the MLS for $460,000, a few months later we took it down to $390. Just yesterday we marked it down to $325,000. I am going to get a new tax appraisal or die trying. Seems like property values have started dropping like a rock.

    My realtor told me that in my section of Boise there were 4060 homes that sold in Jan 2006. In Jan 2009, only 46 sold!

    She also said that in the lower price range, over 46% of the homes are in foreclosure.

    No wonder we’re not hearing any local real estate news anymore.

  7. In California, the banks are destorying homes, just to not pay fines ….

  8. Tom Anderson
    May 1, 2009, 7:52 am

    CORRECTION: The drop in sold homes was more like 80% to 90%, and the homes in distress sales are in the 31% to 46% range.

  9. Tom, I was in the process of refinancing BUT, the value has fallen just enough t reduce my equity enough to preclude a refi but not far enough to qualify for any Obama free money…so every month my payment is about $140 more than it needs to be…

  10. Realtor Dude
    May 1, 2009, 11:05 am


    I don’t know about the ratio of distressed sales to total home sales, but in 2006 the number of homes that sold in Ada and Canyon county was less than 1300. That includes new, existing, mobile, condos, the works.

    This January, the number was about 380. Lower for sure, but a decline of substantially less magnitude than your realtor is suggesting.

  11. People with the starter castles are going to reap a windfall in this mess. People on the bottom end are going to get to suck it up.

    It goes like this. Tax dollars collected will remain neutral with a 3% growth in taxes collected allowed by law. Starter Castles are down as to as low as $0.30 on the dollar they sold for in 2006. The unwashed masses with their $150k domiciles will incrementally get stuck with paying more taxes on a lower valued home.

    The levy rate will be based on net taxable value and the fat cats at the top will enjoy the greatest amount of decreased net taxable valuations. People at the bottom will realize this when they get their tax bills and they have gone up dramatically this Fall.

  12. Mr. Watcher
    May 2, 2009, 12:23 pm

    Paul, above is a classic example of “Class Warfare”. Never mind that the people he calls “fat cats” have been paying a lot of taxes and get no extra services for all the loot collected by local governments. Never mind that, those “fat cats” bused their butts getting an education and busted their butts again on the job after getting that high dollar education. Its not like someone gave them free money to buy their homes. The reverse angle could be said about low income folks. Because they are lazy and didn’t put out at an education because they were too cheap to suck up tens of thousands of dollars in student loans. And didn’t make something more of themselves they cheated the tax base by no paying their fair amount. This works both ways.
    If a homeowner pays $10,000 a year in property taxes and the next slob a few blocks over pays $1,000. Thats a rip off to the other slob who pays more because that slob doesn’t get 911 any faster or extra services. In fact that home owner pays more state income taxes and of course spends more and pays more in sales taxes. So who’s getting the best deal, pay little to nothing and get full services like a millionaire.
    There is an answer to this if we are going to keep taxes on property in place. We need to have a flat property tax no mater the value on any home on five acres or less if the homeowner lives at that home.
    Along these lines if there’s a vote on property taxes, only property owner should be allow to vote on such issues. Why should some punk kid at BSU who lives in a dorm or and apartment that their folks pay for. And the kid hasn’t had a job ever and has never paid one red sent in income or property taxes. Only to walk and then move to someplace else. Leaving hard working Idaho families to do with out because they are hard hit with property taxes.
    Nevertheless, the parasites in government are artist at creating Class Warfare to get the useful idiots and their dumb down votes to stick it to the “fat cats”.
    I’m sure the useful idiots have never thought that if this states keeps hammering folks that have money those people will vote with their feet and move someplace else. Want to see how fast the economy can suffer when a lot of money is moved to someplace else. Take a look at CA and the mess the parasites created in that state.

  13. Mr. Watcher when you say “only property owner(s) should be allow to vote on such issues” I submit that you are being ignorant at best, and possibly a bit arrogant.

    Renters DO pay property taxes, by proxy, but have little or no representation under the current system.

  14. Mr. Watcher
    May 3, 2009, 7:19 am

    Many times renter do not pay any real amount of money in property taxes in their rent because smaller units get charged property taxes by the amount of money that the rental units bring in. Cash flow is the key for property value in commercial real estate. Which is going to cause a commercial real estate crash very soon. The properties are not bring in the needed amounts of cash flow to warrant the current values. So the banks will get them back or the owners will take a beating unloading them. Once that happens the value of the property for tax reasons will go down.
    I’ll not get into how apartments and trailer courts consume far more taxes in government services/cost than brick and mortar home. Yes the property taxes on such are far lower than the free standing family home.
    Again another case of class warfare for everyone to see as an example of the thought process of statesman readers who dope down the public with government propaganda.

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