When you’re thinking about buying a home but are concerned about how property tax rates may impact affordability, looking for lower rates is a common approach. If you’re considering purchasing a house, knowing where to find the lowest property taxes in Idaho can help you find homes that won’t break the bank. If you aren’t sure where to begin, here’s what you need to know about the lowest property tax rates in Idaho.
Idaho Property Tax Rates: An Overview
Overall, Idaho has a lower-than-average property tax rate. The effective tax rate in the state is near 0.65 percent, putting it below nearby states like Oregon, Montana, and Washington.
However, there are 15 other states with lower rates, including Utah, Colorado, and Hawaii. Still, Idaho’s position within the country means that property taxes are usually deemed affordable. This is especially true since homeowners can pay in two installments during the year.
The required payments are six months apart, with one occurring in June and the other in December. As a result, homeowners typically have time to save up for the cost, suggesting that their payment isn’t wrapped up in an existing mortgage payment.
Why Effective Tax Rates Are Low in Idaho
Idaho has some of the lowest property taxes owed mainly because of exemptions and deductions. In Idaho, the homeowner’s exemption can exempt up to 50 percent of a home’s value or $100,000, whichever is lower. That’s far more than you see in many other states.
There are also supplemental programs for specific scenarios. For example, there’s a property tax reduction plan that can reduce what a person owes by up to $1,500. Additionally, veterans with a 100 percent service-connected disability can qualify for more reductions, worth up to $1,500, as well.
When you factor in all of the exemptions, what a homeowner in Idaho pays is usually notably less than the formal tax rate would suggest. As a result, the effective tax rate ends up relatively low, both by comparison to the formal tax rate and when compared to other states.
Where to Find the Lowest Property Taxes in Idaho
When it comes to effective property tax rates, Custer County comes in the lowest at 0.31 percent. The area has a median home value of $177,300, and the median annual property tax owed is just $553.
After Custer County, you can find a 0.48 percent effective rate in Blaine and Valley Counties. Teton and Idaho Counties come in after them, sitting at 0.50 percent.
What’s in Custer County, Idaho?
Custer County, Idaho, is mainly rural and has a small population, coming in at about 4,300 people. Outdoor enthusiasts often enjoy the area thanks to the ample hiking, backpacking, and fishing opportunities. Elephant’s Perch and Redfish Lake are both in the county, as well as part of Boise National Forest. Plus, history buffs may enjoy the Stanley Museum and Ice House, which is home to artifacts relating to the area’s culture and history.
The Highest Property Taxes in Idaho
If Custer County doesn’t feel like a good fit, but you still want to be frugal when buying a home in Idaho, then avoiding the areas with the highest property tax rates may be enough. While the average effective tax rate in Idaho is below the national average, some counties do have higher property taxes than others.
In Power County, the rate is near 0.88 percent, while Shoshone County is 0.87 percent. Canyon County sits at 0.86 percent, and Latah County comes in with an average effective tax rate of 0.83 percent. IN Twin Falls County, the rate is 0.80 percent.
It is important to note that specific cities may have higher average tax rates than rural areas, too. For example, Boise, Idaho – which is in Ada County – has a higher average tax rate than rural communities within the county.
By avoiding higher-cost counties and choosing a lower-cost community within a more affordable zone, it’s pretty easy to limit what you’ll owe for property taxes. Then, whether you select the area with the lowest property taxes in Idaho or head to another spot in the state, you can keep your homeownership-related expenses in check.
If you’re looking for a home in Idaho, do the property tax rates influence where you buy? Why or why not? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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Tamila McDonald has worked as a Financial Advisor for the military for past 13 years. She has taught Personal Financial classes on every subject from credit, to life insurance, as well as all other aspects of financial management. Mrs. McDonald is an AFCPE Accredited Financial Counselor and has helped her clients to meet their short-term and long-term financial goals.