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Residential Commercial FAQ

How is property assessed?

Idaho law requires that all nonexempt property be assessed at market value as of January 1st.Two similar properties in different areas may have very different assessed values after marketable features are considered, including: general location, distance from schools and shopping, quality of surrounding properties and neighborhood amenities such as parks. The market approach to appraisal, which is described above, is most useful in determining the value of residential properties. In addition to the market approach, other methods are used to assess commercial and agricultural properties. Remember: The assessor does not set a value for your property. He or she just estimates what a typical buyer would reasonably pay for it on January 1st.

How often are property values adjusted?

All property is assessed each year.  Assessed values are adjusted annually based on market (sales) data.

What is reappraisal?

State law requires properties to be physically inspected every 5 years. Roughly 20% of the properties within the county are reappraised in any given year. During the other four years of the cycle, values are trended based on market conditions.  The reappraisal process includes both desk review and field inspections to verify property characteristics. The appraisal staff researches sales and permit history, and references aerial imagery for changes in property use and to identify potential discrepancies in physical characteristics within our records. Field inspections require curb-side visits during which information is gathered regarding the property’s physical condition and whether any changes have been made to the property since it was last reappraised. Updated photographs are also taken during field inspections and, if needed, notification is left for the property owner to arrange a more detailed on-site inspection.

In the fall of 2018, the Assessor’s office is launching a survey to enhance and streamline the collection of reappraisal data. The survey is a summation of the record of your property, with space provided to confirm characteristics or note discrepancies. Accurate data results in fair assessments, so we ask anyone who receives this survey to please participate. Regardless of whether or not you receive a reappraisal survey, it is never a bad time to review the public record for accuracy.

What are "improvements"?

The term “improvements” is commonly misunderstood. It does not refer just to remodeling, renovating or upgrading, although these are considered when your property is assessed. “Improvements” are buildings, fences, paving or other permanent structures that add value to land, regardless of when they were put there. For example, your house or manufactured home is considered an “improvement.”

What is the difference between real property and personal property?

Real property consists of land and improvements that are permanently attached to the land. Personal property normally is not attached to the land; rather, it is generally mobile and does not last as long as real property. Office machines are an example of personal property. Personal property, such as household furnishings and clothing, is not assessed or taxed if it is used for personal purposes. If the same property is used in a business, it is subject to property tax unless it is part of resale inventory. Properly registered vehicles, including recreational vehicles, are not subject to property tax. All property is appraised according to its condition on January 1. However, some personal property is assessed on a pro-rated basis for the period it remains in a particular county.

The 2013 Idaho Legislature passed legislation exempting the first $100,000 of business Personal Property, based on single ownerships and common enterprises. To learn more, visit the Personal Property  page.

How do I know what the assessed value of my property is?

Visit the Property System to learn how to pull up a map of your neighborhood and ascertain your property’s assessed value or download a copy of your current assessment notice.

What can I do if I disagree with the assessed value of my property?

Contact the Ada County Assessor’s Office, which maintains a file of information on your property. If you question your assessment, you should review this information with your assigned county appraiser to ensure its accuracy. If you cannot resolve your disagreement with the Assessor’s Office, you may appeal to the Ada County Board of Equalization (BOE), which consists of your elected county commissioners. Your appeal must be filed with the BOE by the fourth Monday in June. Be prepared to document your reasons for requesting a change in your property’s assessed value. You must prove that the assessor’s value is not the current market value of the property.

When are assessment notices mailed?

Your assessment notice must be mailed by the first Monday in June. When you get it, look at it carefully to make sure all the information is accurate.