Friday, July 22, 2005

Assessor: Certain land assessments will rise

Guest opinion by Valdi Pace

Guest opinion by VALDI PACE
Valdi Pace is the Blaine County Assessor and a resident of Hailey.

Blaine County Board of Equalization orders the Assessor to change values in certain areas of Blaine County as a result of their efforts to equalize property values in Blaine County.

The County Commissioners are required by law to sit as the Board of Equalization (BOE) each year to ensue all property assessments conform to state law and reflect current market value standards. The action taken by Blaine County Board of Commissioners is a result of the appeal process and evaluating additional information provided by appellants during this 2005 Board of Equalization.

There are nearly 600 property parcels that will experience increases. The locations are north of Ketchum in the Hulen Meadows neighborhood, Sun Valley Townhouses, Golden Eagle Ranch I & II, the subdivisions directly north of Golden Eagle, Greenhorn subdivision, Valley Club, and a handful of properties at the mouth of the East Fork canyon. These value increases ranged from 8 percent up to 65 percent, and all increases are applied to the land portion of the assessed value. However, the value increases at these percentages do not necessarily mean that the taxes will go up accordingly. The taxes will increase, but not at the same rate that the values increased. The budgets will not be finalized until August, and the levies will not be set until mid September.

This was a difficult task for us to do, and for you the property owners, it was difficult to receive a corrected assessment notice with a higher assessed value than was originally stated in your first notice in June. However, the Blaine County Commissioners and I believe that the action was necessary to reflect current property values and to find solutions to fair property taxation and assessments in this current environment of rapidly appreciating property values in Blaine County. We appreciate the additional information brought to us during the Board of Equalization process, and feel as if further fairness and equity to all taxpayers in the county have been achieved.

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