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What is the property tax reduction (circuit breaker)? If you are a qualified Idaho homeowner, you may be eligible for the 2018 property tax reduction program. This program may reduce property taxes on your home and up to one acre of land by as much as $1,320. The Idaho state tax commission administers the property tax reduction program, but you must apply through the County Assessor’s office. Guidelines and filing procedures are outlined in the Idaho property tax reduction program brochure available online at Property tax reduction benefits will not reduce solid waste, irrigation or other fees or certifications charged by government entities.

So who qualifies? You may qualify for property tax reduction in 2018 if you meet the following requirements: You owned and lived in a house or manufactured home in Idaho that was your primary residence before April 15, 2018. (you may qualify if you lived in a care facility or nursing home; contact our office for information), your total household income for 2017 was $30,050 or less after deducting medical expenses not reimbursed by Medicare or other insurance, business and farm losses and you were in one or more of the following categories as of Jan. 1, 2018. Those categories are age 65 or older, a widow(er) of any age, blind, fatherless or motherless child under 18 years of age, former prisoner of war/hostage, veteran with at least 10 percent service connected disability, or receiving VA pension for a nonservice-connected disability (disabled as recognized by the Social Security administration, railroad retirement board or federal civil service).

How do I apply? You must apply for your 2018 property tax reduction by April 17, 2018. You need to complete an application (only available between Jan. 1 and April 15). Contact the county assessor’s office where you live either by phone, email or stop by their office. If you need help, the assessor’s staff will assist you. The Twin Falls County Assessor takes applications in office from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.

What documentation is required? You must provide the assessor’s office with the following documents to show your income and expenses. If you file a tax return, provide us with your federal income tax return, receipts for other medical expenses you paid in 2017 that were not reimbursed by Medicare or other insurance, Social Security/railroad retirement 1099 forms and any other documents showing income not reported on your tax return. If you do not file a tax return, provide all of the above that apply to you including all 1099 forms you received and proof of expenses to be deducted from business or rental property income. Your local assessor’s office can help you through the process. If you are missing some of this information, complete as much of the form as possible, sign and return it to the assessor’s office by the April 17 deadline. Attach a note of explanation if you have estimated any part of your income. You will be allowed a reasonable amount of time to complete the form after the filing deadline.

If your application is approved, your property tax reduction will appear on the tax notice sent to you in November or December 2018. All recipients of the property tax reduction benefit automatically receive the homeowner’s exemption, which reduces the taxable value of your home by 50 percent or $100,000, whichever is less.

To receive this benefit, you must apply and qualify each year. It is not renewed automatically. The Idaho state tax commission administers the property tax deferral program, but you must apply for this tax deferral through your county assessor’s office by April 17, 2018. For more information on program guidelines and filing procedures, call your county assessor’s office.

Brad Wills is the Twin Falls County Assessor.


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