Property values in the Wood River Valley continue to rise, but “the increase is not as severe during the last two years,” said Blaine County Assessor Jim Williams.
“Things are slowing down a little, and while we haven’t seen a decrease in values, we have seen a decrease in the number of sales,” Williams told the Express.
The total assessed value of properties in Blaine County rose by approximately $2 billion in 2023, a gain of just over 10%. That’s significantly flatter than the 36% year-over-year jump seen in 2022, and the 24% increase in 2021.
The assessed value of all properties in Blaine County on Jan. 1, 2023—the date on which the Assessor’s Office sets preliminary values for 2023 tax assessments, based on market values in 2022—was approximately $20.75 billion. The assessed value for 2022—based on market values from 2021—was approximately $18.855 billion.
The median assessed value for a residential property in 2023 was $752,287, up from $662,131 in 2022.
The figures do not represent how individual property values might have increased, Williams emphasized. Some properties in an area might have larger or smaller increases, depending on various factors, such as location, property type and age.
“Sale prices continued to increase despite a sharp decrease in the number of sales transactions,” Williams wrote in an email. “Even with the rise in interest rates, the high demand for property in our valley and the limited inventory allowed our real estate market to stay strong.”
Hailey saw the largest increase in terms of total assessed value, climbing 20.47% from approximately $2.17 billion in 2022 to $2.62 billion.
Carey’s total assessed value increased by 12.51%, Sun Valley’s by 10.78%, Ketchum’s by 9.69%, and Bellevue’s by 8.52%.
Commercial values are seeing a steady climb, Williams said, but nowhere near residential values. In terms of residential property rate increases, “The last two years have been just ridiculous.”
Agricultural properties are assessed using entirely different math, he explained. Those parcels have seen some increase in value, but those assessments aren’t market-driven.
“New construction played some part” in increased values, Williams said, “but not as much as the overall market and the desirability of being in the Wood River Valley.”
Williams said his office will begin to send out assessments on May 30. All of them mailed by the June 5 deadline.
However, residents this year will not be able to use the state’s tax estimator calculator as in the past due to new tax-relief measures in the Idaho Legislature.
For now, Williams said that the impact of that bill is largely unknown.
State money earmarked for schools should also reduce property taxes, in that schools would first be required to use the money to make their existing bond and levy payments.
The new tax relief program changes an already complex equation in determining the tax rate owners will ultimately have applied to their property, Williams noted. And higher property values can, but do not necessarily translate to higher property taxes. When values go up, he said, it often means a reduction in the levy rate.
“Property owners should review their assessments and call our office if they have any questions,” advised Williams. “Our team of State Certified Appraisers can explain the sales and methods we used to assess these values. If a property owner believes the value does not accurately reflect the 2022 real estate market conditions, the appraisers can help them through the appeal process.” ￼
An earlier version of this story stated that property tax bills would likely be reduced $250-$1,500 due to state money for tax relief funding passed by the Idaho Legislature in the 2023 session. The impacts of that funding are still unknown, Williams said. The story also bundled tax relief measures with the state's Property Tax Reduction program, which is mostly unrelated to the new funding, Williams said.
Post a comment as anonymous
Watch this discussion.
Typical. "Tax assessor" a crook of job that shoiuldnt exist.
One issue they haven't dealt with. I've written to the assessor with no response. Why are AirBNBs that are run as investments assessed as residences instead of businesses? Doing so forces all local homeowners to subsidize AirBNBs through our property taxes. I brought this up with the Ketchum City Administrator as it is a real issue in Ketchum (SV, too) but have not heard of any action taken by the City to protect locals on this issue.
Perry, I must have missed your letter. I’m happy to discuss this with you; feel free to reach out. (208)788-5535 firstname.lastname@example.org
I need to amend my comments after a great conversation with our assessor, Jim Williams. While I stand by my point that STRs are often more business than residence, Jim corrected me on the tax rates. Residential property tax rates are generally higher than commercial rates, so my point that we are subsidizing AirBNBs through our property taxes was incorrect. Plus, if the property is not owner occupied, it doesn't get the homeowners exemption. I still look to the City to do more to protect local workers from real estate speculators and applaud their efforts to better enforce health and safety and LOT tax collections on STRs. However, I think the City is misguided on its ADU proposal (it will just create more STRs) and am disappointed that the City will not exercise the clause in the statute that lets them limit STRs to protect neighborhood integrity. We should be doing all we can do to limit the growth of STRs in Ketchum and promoting LTRs for people who work in essential occupations (not corporate welfare for Sun Valley Co and Marriott and Aspen Ski Co).
Why does a residence, generally, pay more than a business?
*Property values, not tax rates. Residential property values have increased at a higher pace than commercial property values. The tax rate for each taxing district is the same for both residential and commercial properties.
Welcome to the discussion.