Contact Information

Elected Official:
Lois Reed,
Latah County Treasurer
Phone:
(208) 883-2296
Fax:
(208) 883-2293
E-mail:
treasurer
Location:
Latah County Courthouse - Room 105

Treasurer's Office
Frequently Asked Questions

Something new on my tax bill:

Why did I get a bill for .00 due?

There are several possible answers for this question:

1) Is the bill for 'personal property'? If your parcel number, located in the upper right corner, begins with the letters 'PP', this is a bill for personal property. In 2013 the State of Idaho changed the laws governing personal property taxes, exempting the first $100,000 assessed value. Therefore if the combined value on your tax bill(s) is less than $100,000 you will be exempt from taxes. For more information regarding this change in taxes contact the Latah County Assessor's Office.

2) If you have qualified for the Idaho Tax Reduction Program (also known as the Circuit Breaker) there will be an indication in the middle section of your bill showing a payment amount equal to your taxes. For more information regarding this program contact the Latah County Assessor's Office.

3) If pre-payments have been made you will see an indication of payment in the middle section of your bill. Questions regarding payments can be directed to the Treasurer's Office.

What does SD# mean?

In the body of your statement we list each of the taxing districts which we collect for. If you see SD# that indicates a School District: SD#281 is Moscow; SD#282 is Genesee; SD#283 is Kendrick/Juliaetta; SD#285 is Potlatch; SD#287 is Troy; and SD#288 is Whitepine.

Phone numbers for these school districts may be found on the Taxing District Officials Phone list.

What does the Judgment line in the Taxing Districts mean? Why am I paying a Judgment?

In 2013, Thompson Development of Moscow successfully sued Latah County and won a settlement of $110,840.52, reflecting taxes paid in 2009/10/11 and 2012. The basics of the lawsuit were a question of how their property was being valued. This judgment affected the following taxing districts: Latah County; Library; City of Moscow; School District #281; North Latah Highway and Moscow Cemetery. For these taxing districts to recover the funds they lost in the lawsuit it was necessary for them to add an additional amount to their levies for the year 2013. For detailed information regarding the Thompson Development Lawsuit contact the Latah County Prosecutors Office.

This is the only year the Judgment will appear on your tax bill.

Latah County was not involved in the Pacific Corp lawsuit which prevailed in several Idaho Counties. Your tax bill is not affected by this lawsuit.

Where is the red stamp saying that my tax bill has been sent to my mortgage company?

In the lower left portion of your tax bill is a box showing: PLEASE READ. This box has replaced the red stamp. If your tax bill has been requested by a mortgage company there will be a Bank Code at the top center of your bill and the box will appear on your statement. Please note: All taxpayers receive their original tax statement. Tax information is sent when requested by a mortgage company.

Q: How are property taxes determined?

A:

  • Each property is appraised to find its market value
  • All values within a taxing district (school, city, etc.) are summed.
  • Homeowners (and other) exemptions are subtracted.
  • The tax district determines its budget, subtracting other revenue sources

These are examples only.....

Budget/Value = Levy

School Levy Example
$84,159,823/$10,214,550,528 = .008239210 = .8239210%

Q: How are property taxes calculated?

A: See the following example:

1. Levies for taxing districts serving your property are added together.

Taxing District Levy
County .003046731
School .008239208
City .005590915
Special Districts (highway, cemetery, fire) .001178948
Total .018055802

2. The total of these levies are multiplied by your taxable value to determine your tax:

Levy = .018055802 = 1.8055802%

House Value $80,000.00
Lot Value 18.000.00
Total Value $98,000.00
Less Homeowner Exemption (40,000.00)
Total Taxable Value $58,000.00

These are examples only.....

$58,000 × 1.8055802% = $1,047.24 Total Tax

General Tax Bill Information:

Tax bills are mailed in early November of each year. This bill is for the full calendar year but may be paid in two equal halves (with the exception of Transient Property). You may choose to pay the full or pay only the first half, on or before, December 20th. If you pay in halves you must pay the second half on or before June 20th.

Q: What is a taxing district?

A: A taxing district is an entity which is authorized by law to levy taxes to provide services to a group of property owners in a particular area. Idaho code 63-3101 defines a taxing district as any county, any political subdivision of the state, any municipal corporation, including specially chartered school districts, any quasi-municipal corporation, or any other public corporation authorized by law to levy taxes. The most well-known taxing districts are school districts, cities, highway districts, cemetery districts and fire protection districts. There are other, less known, districts which may include the county fair, historical society, noxious weed control, and the library.

Q: Deadlines?

A: First Half or Full Payment is due on or before December 20th. Second Half is due on or before June 20th. Be aware that interest on delinquent second half taxes is calculated from January 1st. Being late on second half is very costly.

Q: Is postmark accepted as payment date?

A: Yes. The US post office no longer guarantees a postmark on all mail. If you are relying on a postmark as your paid date, remember the postmark is your responsibility. We recommend you take your tax bill inside the post office and request a hand cancellation. Never rely on a rural mail box for a postmark. Click here for Payment Location.

Tax Bill Information

Tax Bill - Front Side

This is the only tax bill you will receive. Should you refinance your mortgage in the next 12 months, the tax payments remain your responsibility. This is a 3 part bill. The larger top portion contains parcel number, legal description of property, breakdown of tax charges, year of taxes, bill number and total taxes due. There is also a highlighted block indicating delinquencies, if any exist. If delinquencies appear in this box contact our office for current amounts due. This section also includes our mailing address and phone number.

The lower 2 sections are your payment stubs. Each of these stubs contains the tax amount, bill number and parcel number. If you are paying the first half only, or the full amount, return the right side section. Save the section on the left (2nd half) for payment in June.

Tax Bill - Reverse Side

The backside of the tax bill contains important information regarding due dates, deadlines, as well as consequences of delinquency. There is additional legal information provided. Please take some time to review this portion of your tax bill.

Q: Tax Bill - I have noticed some abbreviations and dollar amounts on the top, right side, of my tax bill, what do these mean?

A: HO EXEMPT IMPRVMNT - Homeowner's Exemption has been applied.
IMPROVEMENTS TO YOUR LAND - This could mean your house, woodshed or garage. It does not mean you have made improvements to your house, but instead, means the house is an improvement to the land.
LAND
TOTAL - The net market value of your property on which you are taxed.

Making Your Tax Payment

Q: Payment information?

A: When preparing your check for payment, please take the extra time to verify that your amounts are correct, both the written and number portion. If you are paying multiple bills check your addition carefully. Delinquencies can occur because of math errors. Incorrectly written checks delay your tax payment as well as creating unnecessary hours of expensive research. The taxpayer is responsible for identifying each parcel of their property. Treasurer's office staff cannot guarantee the taxpayer that each parcel is paid when payment stubs are not included.

Q: Payment location?

A: Make checks payable to the Latah County Tax Collector. Mail checks to Latah County Tax Collector, P.O. Box 8068, Moscow, ID 83843. When mailing your payment it is never safe to wait until the last minute. While we accept the postmark as your payment date the post office no longer guarantees postmarks. Mishaps can happen and they can be very costly. Taxes may be paid anytime prior to the deadline. You may drop your tax payment off using our drop box, located in the county courthouse parking lot. This box closes at 5:00 p.m. on the 20th. Be certain to enclose your stub and your check in a sealed envelope. Taxes may also be paid in person at our office located in the County Courthouse, Room 105.  Office hours are 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Q: Credit card payment?

A: Our office accepts credit cards over the counter as well as over the phone and online.

For access to online system click on our link at PointAndPay. Credit cards accepted include: American Express, MasterCard (credit & debit), VISA (credit & debit) and Discover. There will be a 2.50% convenience fee charged to you for this service which will be disclosed to you prior to completing the transaction.

Payments received after 5:00 p.m. (Pacific Time) will be credited on the following business day. (see Section on Deadlines) If you have questions about this system or how it works, please contact our office.

Q: Can I pay my taxes with a Bill Pay check from my bank or credit union?

A: We do accept 'Bill Pay checks' from your bank or credit union. There are just a few rules to remember when setting up your Bill Pay service. First: You must indicate your full parcel number (up to 15 digits) in the area designated for the account number. Your parcel number can be found in the upper right corner of your annual tax statement. Do NOT use your 'bill number' as your account number. Bill numbers change from year to year and can cause incorrect postings. Second: Use separate checks for multiple parcels. It is our office protocol to apply your payment as you indicate on your check. If your intention is to pay your mobile home but you indicate the real property parcel number we will apply the funds to the number provided. Third: You need only 4 things to set up your Bill Pay service; 1) the correct name for the "vendor", "biller" or "payee", which is: Latah County Tax Collector. 2) Our address: PO Box 8068, Moscow, Id 83843. 3) our phone number: 208-883-2296. And finally; the parcel number which can be up to 15 digits. Specific questions regarding setting up 'bill pay' can be directed to your bank or credit union. Sorry, we do NOT offer 'automatic payment deduction' for property taxes.

Q: What does the county do with all our money?

A: Taxes provide many services we would not have or could not afford individually. The County Treasurer collects the tax dollars for all taxing districts within the county. The largest portion of the collected money goes to support our schools. There are many taxing districts within the county. The districts into which you pay are listed on the top portion of your tax bill. Other services paid for with tax dollars include law enforcement (sheriff and courts), fire protection, road development and maintenance, indigent care, planning and building, health district, parks, youth services, county fair, noxious weeds and disaster services. County taxes insure residents retain local control of taxing districts and services.

You may drop by our office anytime for a detailed explanation of how county taxes are calculated.

Q: How can I have a say in my tax bill?

A: Attend taxing district budget hearings, which are published in the paper during August and September. You can also call and write to the governing boards of the applicable taxing district. We have included a list of those names and phone numbers. You can work for more efficiency in government by getting involved and being active.

If your question is about Idaho State Code or if you are willing to work toward changing the tax laws contact your legislative representative. The phone number for the Idaho State Tax Commission is 208-334-7660.

Q: I moved into a newly constructed home mid-year, why do I have to pay a full tax bill?

A: If you purchase and move into a newly constructed home or manufactured home mid-year prior to December 31st, it will be assessed on an occupancy tax roll (represented by an OC parcel number). This allows for pro-ration of value according to the amount of time the building is occupied. In the case of an OC billing the homeowner may receive two tax bills, one for the land (represented by an RP parcel number) and another for the new structure (the OC parcel number).

Q: I didn't get my tax bill or reminder, do I still have to pay late fees?

A: Yes. Idaho Code 63-902-9 states that failure to receive notices does not invalidate taxes or any collection procedure. Even if you don't receive the notices or they are later than you expected, as the property owner you are responsible for the timely payment of your taxes. If a mortgage company paid your property taxes in December, you might not receive a reminder notice in May for your June 20th tax payment. The Treasurer's office staff makes every effort to mail bills to the best-known address. It is your responsibility to provide the County Assessor with your correct address. If the address on your enclosed tax bill is incorrect contact the County Assessor as soon as possible.

Q: My taxes are too high, is there any help available?

A: Tax relief is available for many Idaho residents through the following processes:

Homeowner's Exemption

Available to all individuals on their primary residence, including manufactured homes. If you feel you qualify contact the Assessor's Office.

Hardship Exemption

Available upon application and approval by the Board of County Commissioners at public hearing. The decision of the commissioners is based on extreme and unusual needs and is typically granted on a one-time basis, for third year delinquent taxes. For more information on this exemption contact our office. While not all applicants qualify, all taxpayers are entitled to apply.

Circuit Breaker

This program is funded by the State of Idaho as a benefit for individuals 65 or older, or those disabled or widowed at any age. Eligibility is determined by income (social security is included). Check with your County Assessor for details. You must apply for this exemption every year between January 1st and April 15th.

Monthly Payments

You may make partial payments toward future or delinquent taxes. All partial payments will be applied to the oldest delinquency first. If no delinquency or current tax is due, partial payments of at least $25.00 can be applied toward future taxes.

Only full-payment of all delinquent taxes will stop the collection process.

Q: I can't pay my taxes right now, can I just wait?

A: Yes, but you will have to pay late charge and interest, and if you have a manufactured home you must file an extension! Manufactured or mobile homes (indicated by a MH parcel number) extension applications are available until December 20th. You may request an extension for up to 4 months. However, you will pay late charge and interest for the full period of the extension. There are no extensions available for June payments and extensions are not available on transient (TP) taxes.

Q: How much are late charges and interest?

A: If your December tax payment is late, on December 21st you will be charged a 2% flat late fee on the delinquent amount. If your payment is late in June, on June 21st you will be charged a 2% flat late fee on the delinquent amount. You will also be charged a 1% interest fee that accrues daily. If you are late with your December 20th payment, the interest fee will begin on the following January 1st. If you are late with your June payment the interest will revert back to the previous January 1st. While this charge may seem excessive and is frustrating for both you and our office we must collect the interest back to January 1st even though you may have missed the date by only one day. Idaho laws are very specific about this requirement. Unfortunately payment history cannot be considered when assessing late charge and interest. Section 63-903 Idaho Code mandates the addition of a late charge and interest on delinquent taxes. The timing of the law is clearly defined to make sure all taxpayers are treated equitably.

Q: What happens when I don't pay taxes on my personal property or mobile home?

A: Idaho State Tax Code does not allow taxes on manufactured or mobile homes or personal property to become delinquent. When there is a property tax delinquency on any personal property the County Treasurer must issue a Warrant of Distraint for the collection of the delinquency. Warrants of Distraint are not issued on people, they are issued against the property. While you will not be arrested, your property, or property of equal value, may be distrained for payment. The warrant contains directions to the County Sheriff to seize and sell (within the State of Idaho) a sufficient amount of property belonging to the taxpayer to satisfy the tax obligation. This can become very costly, as the amount due will include a fee for the warrant, collection fees for the sheriff as well as late charge and interest.

Q: What happens when I don't pay taxes on my real property?

A: Once property taxes on real property become 3 years delinquent the County Treasurer begins the tax deed process. For more information contact our office.

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