If you are on the state of Idaho’s property tax reduction program and living in Boise, you will be eligible for even more of a break on your property taxes next year.
The City of Boise is in the development process for its property tax rebate program, which will give some property tax collections back to Boiseans who own their homes who are low-income, veterans, elderly or disabled. This program is new this year after the Idaho Legislature passed legislation earlier this year allowing cities to give property tax rebate checks back to residents like the state has been allowed to do when legislators decide they have excess revenue.
Boise appears to be the only city taking advantage of the program so far.
For next year, the program is open to roughly the roughly 1,200 Boiseans who were on the property tax reduction program as of April 2022, commonly known as the circuit breaker. The city has allocated $1.2 million for the program, meaning if all eligible residents apply they could receive up to $1,000 off of their property tax bill. However, the benefit can only cover up to what someone owes in property taxes and cannot exceed that figure.
How will it work?
The application is set to open in December and those eligible should receive an application in the mail. There will be several other mailers, social media outreach and in-person canvassing to reach residents to ensure they get the rebate if they are eligible before the application closes in May of 2023.
The requirements for Boise’s rebate program are essentially the same as the state’s benefit.
It requires an annual application, an annual income for the year less than $32,230, you to own your home or a mobile home and be older than 65, or a veteran, a former POW, blind, disabled or a widow/widower. And as of 2022, your home must also be worth less than $800,000, which is 150% of the median value for the county.
If the program continues in the future, Mayor Lauren McLean said she wants the city to work to promote enrollment in the circuit breaker program.
“Overtime I would like us to have a strategy for those who qualify, but who haven’t submitted an application to expand the property tax relief as far as possible to residents,” she said at a work session on Tuesday.
Boise hopes for changes to state law
McLean and Boise City Council members were pleased with the ability to give out the rebate, but they say there are tweaks that could make the program better.
Some suggestions from Boise Budget Manager Eric Bilimoria include changing the program so anyone who is automatically enrolled for the circuit breaker through the Ada County Assessor’s Office becomes available for the city’s rebate program or allowing the city to credit someone’s property tax bill instead of refunding them. This means someone wouldn’t have to pay their property tax bill, instead of just getting a check back after they pay the second installment of their bill.
City Council Member Patrick Bageant agreed with this.
“For these people, we don’t want their money in the first place,” he said. “Anything we can do to not collect it and let them keep it is easier on us so we don’t have to issue checks and it’s easier on them because they get to keep their money.”