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Assessor to correct errors

by KAYE THORNBRUGH
Staff Writer | March 1, 2024 1:08 AM

COEUR d’ALENE — Commissioners directed Kootenai County Assessor Béla Kovacs to correct more than 100 parcels whose property owners were undercharged on their taxes due to an assessor’s office error.

The property owners are unlikely to pay more taxes as a result.

Kovacs told commissioners earlier this week that the end-of-year property roll prepared by his office contained about 125 parcels with errors, including a number of parcels where the homeowner’s exemption was “over-applied,” exceeding the $125,000 cap.

The total over-applied homeowner’s exemptions totaled about $1.4 million and translate to roughly $4,000 in taxes, Chief Deputy Assessor Dyson Savage said Thursday. The errors are not expected to affect levy rates.

Property owners whose homeowner’s exemptions were over-applied will receive new, correct assessment notices in the mail.

Under Idaho law, when an improperly claimed homeowner’s exemption is discovered, the assessor “must assess a recovery of property taxes, plus costs, late charges and interest.” However, if the additional exemption occurred due to county error, commissioners may waive the recovery of taxes.

Kovacs said Tuesday that commissioners needed to take action to correct the errors by Monday, the deadline for his office to deliver the “missed property roll” to the auditor’s office.

However, the errors are related to the occupancy tax roll, not the missed property roll. The occupancy tax roll deadline is in late June, which means the county has time to correct the errors.

“The ship hasn’t sailed on that one,” Alan Dornfest, the Idaho State Tax Commission’s tax policy chief, told county officials Thursday.