Tracking code caldwell guardian

Monday, April 18, 2011

Home Sweet Home Now Worth 12% Less!

We had the opportunity to chat with our friends at the Canyon County Assessor's Office last week and wanted to know the deal on the housing prices and market values.  The sad truth is real estate continues to be a very poor investment.  Our source shared with us Caldwell and Nampa can look forward to about a 12% decrease in values on the average based on market sales data gathered by the Assessor's staff from MLS data.  Some values declined more and some declined less but values in the two largest cities in the County continue to erode.  The county folks not quite so bad with an 8% drop in overall values on the average. 

Does this mean you will pay less property tax...FAGEDDABOUTIT.  The levy rates and the assessed values work together to determine the taxes you will pay.  State law allows cities and counties to remain REVENUE NEUTRAL and take a 3% overall increase in property tax revenue.  When reading the minutes and transcripts of the Commishes during budget hearings in 2009/10 regarding the Bujak legal mess it was clear the Commishes were painfully aware they had to do something to lower taxes. 

They could lower the tax load or face trying to explain a 20% increase in the levy rates to voters and taxpayers.  THE GUARDIAN has to had it to them,  they worked at lowering the tax bite for all of us last year rather than face the music from hostile taxpayers.  You can look forward to seeing a lower assessed value on your property but don't expect any reduction in your property tax load this year.

We received good news from Mayor Nancolas last week that it is his intention to float an RFP (request for proposals) on misdemeanor prosecutions for the city of Caldwell.  Currently, Caldwell pays $34,000.00 a month to the law firm doing prosecutions but about $9,500/month goes for civil work.  Let's all wait and see what Mayor Nancolas and Mayor Dale of Nampa do to match the efforts of the County Commishes last year.  Caldwell raised taxes 2.7% and if we recall correctly Mayor Dale came in with a 5% increase (he took 2% from the previous year and took the 3% allowed by law).


  1. I bought a house in Caldwell about a year and a half ago for $140k and it is now worth about $85k. We are trying to get the bank to revalue the place or we will probably just quit making payments and walk on the deal. Banks and bankers have been screwing the public for years and the housing bust may be the opportunity for people to get even.

    When you think about it all manner of consumer products like cars, motorcycles and appliances get reposessed all the the time. This may be the first time houses are going to be treated like any other consumer product with people just walking away from a bad situation and taking the hit on their credit records.

    I can rent a similar place I now live in for about 40% less than my current housepayements. I won't have any maintenance, taxes, insurance etc. and can walk away when the lease ends. Frankly, we are having a hard time trying to see any upside owning and making payments on a house.

  2. A quick observation on the post is that school, city and county services are necessary and must be paid for, but in our present economic situation frugal budgets are indicated. With declining tax appraisals the mill levy will obviously increase but taxes will not increase evenly over different classes of property. Owner occupied properties receive a hefty exclusion of appraised value (up to 50%), which shifts the tax burden more to commercial, industrial and rental properties with NO exclusion. Also decreases in value of residential properties are much easier to document for tax appraisals because of more transactions(comps) and therefore commercial, industrial, and some rental properties tend to not reflect reduced values as significantly.

    What this all boils down to is an obscene and unintended shift of the local tax burden to business and rental property in a time where they are least able to absorb it let alone expand with new jobs or encourage new startups. Even reduced budgets will probably result in increases levies but will at least mitigate some of the damage.

    To annonomous #1. Rent=costs+taxes+profit and over time profit is a positive number which is only one reason why owning (and hanging on if possible) is the "winning hand". Getting back in the game later may not be so easy.

  3. More simply stated is the homeowners exemption is noting more than a tax shift to another source of revenue generated from those who are not homeowners.

    We pay more taxes when prices go up and we continut to pay more tax when they go down. I feel like nothing more than a tax collector. My renters think I simply put their rent in to my pocket and it is all profit.

    Right now and for the forseeable future it will be much cheaper to rent than to own property. Rents are generally cheaper than house payments. No property tax to pay, no maintenance to pay, no insurance to pay and no concerns about packing up and leaving should the need arise.

    There used to be an upside on owning property called appreciation in value. Well the bubble bursting took care of that for the next decade or so. Owning property is like owning ripe bananas...there is no appreciation in values of either, in most cases the values are decreasing daily.

  4. Reply to Casual Observer

    Rents are at or below where they were on the same properties 10 years ago. There has been very little profit for several years. We cannot afford to pay these constant increases. In the last year or so we have seen a 5% increase in property tax a 50% increse in sewer bills a $7 per month increse for the privilage of recycleing so that Waste Management can sell the recycleables at a profit and now we will be taxed for the rain falling out of the sky.

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