Tracking code caldwell guardian

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Medicare, Humana and United Health Changes You Need to Know

Each year those of us 65 or older can keep or change Medicare Advantage Insurance plans or simply stay with plain vanilla Medicare Part B, The cost for the basic Medicare is rounded off at $104/month and it comes right off the top of that meager Social Security check.  This year Humana and United Health have thrown a curve ball at Medicare recipients.

Humana is in the process of severing ties with St. Luke's in this area.  If you keep your Humana Medicare Advantage Plan  be advised if you go to St. Luke's you will be on the hook for out of plan costs.  The mutual separation is over reimbursements to St. Luke's by Humana for Medicare Advantage payments. You know... the charges sent to Humana generally get settled for a much lower price than "retail" prices charged by hospitals.

United Health (under the banner of AARP), is dropping thousands of doctors in 10 States according to a Wall Street Journal article in today's edition.  Again it is probably over reimbursements paid v. what the docs submit for their services. 

If you have anyone you know oblivious to these changes in Medicare you might want to give them a heads up.  Out of plan fees and costs can be a real shock to the wallet.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Caldwell v. County Property Taxes

THE GUARDIAN had a nice chat with a friend in the Canyon County Assessor's Office this morning about various property tax levy rates.  The short version is best explained using the "net taxable value" of $100k on a home in the city v. the county.

The taxes due on average in the city of Caldwell come to $26 per $1,000.00 of net taxable value.  In the county they are $15 per $1,000.00 of net taxable value.

Caldwell property taxpayer would have to pay $2,600.00 in property taxes.
County property taxes would be $1,500.00 for the same net taxable value of $100k.  The difference is a significant 42% between the two properties with the very same net taxable values.

Another interesting piece of information is the homeowner exemption is no longer 50% up to $100k but is different each year and is a maximum of $82k this year.  The Legislature changed the law under the radar of homeowners several years ago.  It changes every year based on some arcane formula county assessors even have a problem understanding. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Caldwell Before the Blight

THE GUARDIAN received the picture you see in this post from a friend who sent it in a very nice note of appreciation.  It was a post card she purchased years ago at Pennywise Drug and I thougth I would share it with CALDWELL GUARDIAN readers.

The back of the card reads:
"Central district of a town made famous by unusual concentration of numerous mobile home manufacturers- also home of the College of Idaho located in a rich farming area on the interstate highway in west central Idaho - Less than one hours drive from fabulous hunting, fishing, camping and skiing area."

In juxtaposition to what we have for a downtown today, this card depicts Caldwell as a vibrant city with lots of businesses in our downtown.  We have TVCC, the creek uncovered but is Caldwell better off today than it was years ago. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Mayor Casts Deciding Vote on $190K Carnige Library Purchase

The local paper had a story this week the City of Caldwell purchased the old Carnige Library from the Cadlwell School District for a mere $190K.  What the local paper did not say was how City Councilors voted.  A prompt from THE GUARDIAN did not get any response from the reporter who wrote the story.  His article left the readers to wonder how our elected folks voted. 

Here is the response I got late today from City Clerk, Debbie Geyer:

Ozuna, Hopper, Callsen..... voted for the purchase

Biggers, Pollard, Blacker......voted against the purchase

Mayor Nancolas cast the tie breaking vote to purchase the old library.

Why the local paper did not put this in their story is a mystery but here it is for GUARDIAN readers.  The other missing part of the story is where the $190K will come from. 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Property Tax Comparisons For Your Enjoyment

THE GUARDIAN received the following property tax table from a friend in the County Assessor's Office.  I want to share it with readers as we approach the December property tax deadline for the first installment.

Urban areas of Canyon County are 41.7% higher than they are in Ada County.  We have the highest levy rates for both urban and rural parts of the county and there is no way to sugar coat this reality.

Chart VIII
Revised: 1/2/2013
ADA 1.767% 1.413% 1.722%
ADAMS 1.725% 0.948% 1.012%
BANNOCK 1.929% 1.012% 1.725%
BEAR LAKE 0.965% 0.588% 0.664%
BENEWAH 1.536% 0.948% 1.076%
BINGHAM 1.807% 1.140% 1.352%
BLAINE 0.797% 0.677% 0.755%
BOISE 1.370% 1.060% 1.091%
BONNER 1.184% 0.714% 0.813%
BONNEVILLE 1.693% 1.070% 1.500%
BOUNDARY 1.231% 0.893% 0.959%
BUTTE 1.782% 1.141% 1.257%
CAMAS 1.628% 0.988% 1.091%
CANYON 2.505% 1.484% 2.129%
CARIBOU 1.971% 1.025% 1.176%
CASSIA 1.382% 0.886% 1.025%
CLARK 1.285% 0.977% 1.020%
CLEARWATER 1.794% 1.038% 1.228%
CUSTER 0.574% 0.335% 0.373%
ELMORE 2.180% 1.110% 1.518%
FRANKLIN 1.239% 0.901% 1.053%
FREMONT 1.051% 0.706% 0.770%
GEM 2.001% 1.222% 1.435%
GOODING 1.747% 0.965% 1.135%
IDAHO 1.066% 0.589% 0.688%
JEFFERSON 1.876% 1.102% 1.226%
JEROME 1.726% 1.227% 1.521%
KOOTENAI 1.512% 1.001% 1.269%
LATAH 1.809% 1.387% 1.643%
LEMHI 1.249% 0.564% 0.718%
LEWIS 1.867% 1.202% 1.426%
LINCOLN 1.843% 1.066% 1.205%
MADISON 1.598% 1.331% 1.493%
MINIDOKA 1.356% 0.912% 1.075%
NEZ PERCE 1.995% 1.060% 1.662%
ONEIDA 1.548% 0.798% 0.969%
OWYHEE 1.531% 1.029% 1.103%
PAYETTE 1.491% 1.014% 1.309%
POWER 2.179% 1.375% 1.503%
SHOSHONE 1.727% 1.138% 1.367%
TETON 1.148% 0.907% 0.962%
TWIN FALLS 1.878% 1.200% 1.605%
VALLEY 1.344% 0.777% 0.956%
WASHINGTON 1.573% 0.835% 1.038%
Statewide: 1.631% 1.048% 1.379%