Property values going up again

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Property values will be going up again for both residential and agricultural land.

The Assessor’s Office gave the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners a heads-up that the State of Idaho has decrease a cap rate, which will increase property values for ground farmed in Jefferson County.

The residential land and home prices have continued to see increasing prices as the market for places to live in Jefferson County continues to grow.

“We’re just kind of preparing you for what could happen in June,” said Jessica Tate, of the Assessor’s Office.

Last June, farmers from throughout the county appealed a value increase for their land. The commissioners voted to uphold the values in a courtroom with standing room only.

This year, the increase won’t be as much, Tate explained. As the cap rate goes down, the property value goes up. The rate is set on a rolling five-year average.

Assessor Cody Taylor said that it was out of her employees’ hands.

“We have no choice. The cap rate is given to us,” she said.

Commissioner Scott Hancock said that he didn’t believe the news would be well met by farmers in the county, as selling prices for some commodities, like wheat were the lowest they’ve been in 40 years.

He asked if farmers had been turning in their information at a greater rate than last year.

Tate said the county had sent off 1,700 forms. Some areas had more responses back to the county than 2016. Others were the same. Some farmers hadn’t turned in information that the county could use.

As for residential increases, Tate explained that the housing market sets the values. As homes and residential properties sell for more money, property values go up.

Chairman Brian Farnsworth said that it wasn’t a bad thing.

“With the crash (in 2007) my investment I had in my property went in the gutter with it. So, I’m happy to see the values going back up,” he said.

Tate said that the market shows no signs of slowing.

“It’s increased and it’s still rising,” she said.

Farnsworth said that he appreciated the Assessor’s Office for a difficult job.

“We appreciate the good work you guys do, the hard work you guys do,” he said.

According to Alan Dornfest of the Idaho State Tax Commission, the “cap rate” is a capitalization interest rate the state is required by law to obtain from the Spokane Northwest Farm Credit Service, and pass on to the county assessors.

It is just one component of the formula used to arrive at a value for agricultural land. Other factors include income and productivity of different soil types. Those factors are input locally and interpreted by the local office.

The pertinent Idaho State Code is 63-602K. The IDAPA rules governing the law is 35.01.03.613.

In 2016, the cap rate was 6.14 percent. This year it is 5.99 percent.

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