LEGAL UPDATES - SUMMER 2022
SSA’s Property Tax Relief Bill Vetoed in Idaho. Idaho Senate Bill 1301 sought to ensure the fairness of property taxes assessments for self storage facilities in the state. The bill would have allowed the assessor to use one or more market valuation methods when establishing the market value for assessment purposes of a self storage facility. However, the bill would have capped the market value at the reproduction or replacement cost of the improvements, less depreciation, plus land value for the real property. The bill passed the legislature, but was vetoed by Governor Brad Little. In Governor Little’s letter to the Senate President, the Governor stated:
I recognize there may be a problem with property tax assessments for self-storage facilities, but I am reluctant to perform surgery on a wound that may only require a band aid.
This is undoubtedly a complex issue that has resulted in protracted administrative and legal challenges. Self-storage properties are inherently difficult to assess; however, I am disinclined to require county assessors to cap self-storage assessments using just the cost approach when no other commercial property type would be subject to the same standard. I am concerned this may open a Pandora's Box of other types of commercial properties seeking similar treatment. This concern is particularly heightened during a time when home prices in Idaho are skyrocketing and much of this legislative session has been focused on addressing rising property taxes, particularly for homeowners. As we all are aware, any reduction in value of one property type results in a shift of tax burden to other property tax payers.
The legislature adjourned before considering a veto override. The SSA and Idaho SSA will look for alternative property tax remedies through the administrative process with the Idaho State Tax Commission and, if necessary, in future legislative sessions.