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For the week of  October 3 - 9, 2001

  Editorials

Assessor clams up


Business property owners in the Wood River Valley can be excused if they scoff at Blaine County Assessor Valdi Paceís claim that the world renowned Sun Valley Resortís land is worth dramatically less than nearby commercial land in Ketchum, Hailey and Bellevue.

Perhaps thereís a reasonable explanation for the disparity, but Pace isnít providing one. Sheís conveniently retreated into a shell, declining to justify what surely seems, in the words of the last presidential campaign, "fuzzy math."

Instead, sheís left the public with only the Idaho State Tax Commission to turn to for an explanation, but it can only guess at the methods the assessor may have used to come up with the widely disparate valuations that logically result in what appears to be a huge tax break for the Sun Valley Company.

Imagine, all that land ó the Lodge and Inn, the shopping mall, the opera house ó worth $247,900 per acre, while commercial land just a mile away in downtown Ketchum is valued at $4.4 million an acre.

Thatís nearly 18 times higher than the resortís valuation.

Pace is charged by law to impose equitable property assessments. If assessments have gone haywire for some reason, she is obligated to explain the problem to the public and fix them if necessary.

Pace needs to quit hiding and start talking to the public that elected her.


The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.