SANDPOINT, Idaho — Landowners alongside an Idaho lake have filed 27 lawsuits saying the county has overvalued their property.
The Bonner County Daily Bee reported (http://bit.ly/2wPT1i5 ) Friday that the Priest Lake landowners are questioning whether Bonner County’s assessed valuations reflect fair market value.
The lawsuits also question whether the county failed to consider proper measures of applicable land sales and whether it relied on incorrect or incomplete information when setting values.
The petitioners include landowners, estates, trusts and limited liability corporations seeking judicial reviews of their assessments. Most of the landowners argue that their assessed valuations should reflect values put forth in a 2016 auction, which were much lower.
That auction involved residential property managed by the Idaho Department of Lands.
Proceeds from renting lakefront land had previously gone toward an education endowment, but disagreements over fair market value and getting a maximum return for the schools prompted the state to sell the properties.
David and Sally Powers of Ritzville, Washington, appealed the assessment of $1.3 million for their property to the county commissioners, who serve as the board of tax equalization. The Powers said the property should be valued at $970,544, the value during the 2016 auction.
But the board refused that appeal along with others, leading to the lawsuits.
“The requirement that all property be assessed at its actual cash value is secondary to the constitutional mandate of equality of taxation,” said attorney Katie Elsaesser in a petition for one of the property owners.
Information from: Bonner County (Idaho) Daily Bee, http://www.bonnercountydailybee.com