Friday, June 14, 2024

Out-of-staters' impact

by VALORI PARKS/Guest Opinion
| May 29, 2021 1:00 AM

Imagine my surprise when I saw the pie-shaped graphs of homeownership in the Luxury Lifestyle Magazine of North Idaho issue No. 6 2021 edition.

Only 41.9 percent of Coeur d’Alene lakefront houses are owned by Idahoans. Washington residents own 39.4%. California is a mere 6.5%, and all other states account for the rest. Owner occupied was only 13% on the lake. Wow!

Hayden lakefront has 48.1% Idaho ownership and 30.8% Washington ownership and Californians 9%. The rest is from various states. Owner occupied was only 77%. Again, wow!

I don’t think it’s Californians who are to blame though, according to these stats. Also — I see more Washington plates here than any other state (probably because we share a border) but it’s about half Washington to half Idaho on a beautiful sunny weekend and throughout the summer months.

Now we know why — they own almost half our lake properties not to mention many own homes in what used to be our “quaint downtown.”

Do you know that in Washington, if an out-of-state person buys in their state they pay a much higher tax rate to the state of Washington when they sell? This keeps out-of-staters to a minimum. I know this for a fact, because I have a relative who bought a house for his son in Vancouver, Wash.

So why doesn’t Idaho raise the tax rate on non-residents who drive up the prices of housing for Idahoans who don’t make as much money as those in other states? This is keeping residents of Idaho from not only buying lakefront houses, but homes in general.

I think there wouldn’t be nearly as many out-of-state property owners if that were the case. The tax money could go to help pay for infrastructure and more needed police and fire district money etc. (which our counties are screaming for) due to all the people coming here.

Stop taxing us Idahoans until we bleed. Why should we be paying for non-residents' pleasure in our state?

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Valori Parks is a resident of Coeur d’Alene.