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Property tax relief plan gains strength

| July 16, 2020 1:00 AM

North Idaho cities, one county among those submitting letters of intent

COEUR d’ALENE — Twenty-five cities and 10 counties in Idaho have signed letters of intent to participate in Gov. Brad Little’s plan that leverages federal coronavirus relief funds to cover local public safety personnel salaries and gives cities and counties the opportunity to pass on the savings to property taxpayers.

The move is expected to provide up to $200 million in property tax relief, or a 10 to 20% reduction in your property tax bill this year — but only if your city or county opts in.

North Idaho cities that have submitted a letter of intent include Coeur d’Alene, Rathdrum, Bonners Ferry, Kellogg, Sandpoint and Pinehurst.

The only North Idaho county that has submitted a letter of intent is Boundary.

“Our focus is to support our communities and our police, fire, and EMS personnel and ensure there are no reductions in public safety during these unprecedented challenges,” Little said. “I appreciate the cities and counties working with us to ensure the resulting budget savings are given back to the people of Idaho in the form of property tax relief rather than backfilling local government budgets.”

Every city and county in Idaho is eligible and must submit a letter of intent to participate by 4 p.m. PST Friday. The letter of intent must be emailed to CFAC@dfm.idaho.gov.

“I’m pleased by the strong response from cities and counties opting in,” Little said. “The program will keep our communities safe by ensuring our local public safety and public health agencies are well-funded during this pandemic. The program has the added benefit of providing property tax relief to the citizens of those cities and counties that choose to participate.”