- Contact Us
- Emergency Management
- Emergency Medical Service
- Extension Service
- Five County Juvenile Detention Center
- Geographical Information
- Health Department - off site
- Information Technology
- Juvenile Probation
- Motor Vehicle
- Parks & Recreation
- Planning & Building
- Public Defender
- Public Works
- Road & Bridge
- Rural Addressing
- Sewer Systems
- Social Services
- Tri-County Probation
- Veteran's Services
- News & Information
Personal Property Valuation
An Educational Guide to Personal Property Tax in the State
(This information was prepared by the Idaho State Tax Commission. It does not provide comprehensive explanations of Idaho tax laws or rules. Specific questions should be addressed to the county assessor.)
If you operate a business, you may have some questions about the way your personal property is assessed. The assessed value of your personal property helps determine how much tax you pay. All assessments should be accurate so that all taxpayers pay their fair share of the total personal property tax.
Frequently Asked Questions...
- What is personal property?
- What is transient personal property?
- What personal property is assessed?
- What personal property is exempt?
- What is a lien date?
- Who assesses personal property?
- How does the County Assessor know what to assess?
- When must I report my personal property?
- What if someone does not report personal property?
- At what value is personal property assessed?
- What is market value?
- How do I know what the assessed value of my property is?
- What if I disagree with the assessed value of my property?
- How are my personal property taxes determined?
- When will I get my personal property tax bill?
- What if my personal property taxes aren't paid on time?
- What happens if I close my business or sell it?
Taxable personal property consists of items used in a business, such as furniture, libraries, art, coin collections, machinery, tools, equipment, signs, unregistered vehicles and watercraft.
Taxable personal property also includes items used commercially for convenience, decoration, service or storage. Examples are store counters, display racks, desks, chairs, file cabinets, computers, typewriters, office machines and medical/scientific instruments.
This list is not all-inclusive; contact your local county assessor for more information.
Transient personal property is unregistered construction, logging and mining equipment that spends more than 30 days in more than one county in the state during the same year.
If you own transient personal property you may treat the county in which you maintain a residence or usual place of business as your home county.
You should file the declaration for transient personal property on or before the first day of November each year with the assessor of your home county.
If you own transient personal property, you should notify the county assessor within 10 days of entering a county other than the property's home county.
All personal property in Idaho is subject to assessment and taxation unless the law specifically exempts it.
The following list includes some of the major categories exempt from taxation:
- Personal effects, household items and apparel (unless used in a business)
- Vehicles and vessels properly registered in the state of Idaho.
- Business inventory
- Equipment used for education
- Property owned by fraternal, benevolent or religious organizations
- Facilities for water or air pollution control
- Farm equipment
The lien date is the date taxes are secured by the property being taxed. Nonpayment of taxes that are secured by property may result in the owner losing the property.
The lien date for real property and most personal property is Jan. 1. For personal property brought into Idaho after Jan. 1, the lien date if the first day of the quarter in which the property was brought into Idaho.
All personal property is assessed by the county assessor of the county in which it is located.
If you have taxable personal property, you are required to report it to your county assessor. This is done by using a personal property declaration, a form available from the county assessor. The form has sections for listing personal property by make, manufacturer, serial number, year acquired and cost.
You must return your personal property declaration to the county assessor by the date indicated on the declaration, or, in any case, no later than March 15. A different deadline is given if your personal property is missed or your business starts after Jan. 1.
The county assessor is required to assess property that is not declared. The assessment is estimated based on the best information available.
Idaho law provides that county officials must double the assessed value of any personal property they discover was willfully concealed in order to avoid paying tax. The assessment is doubled for each year the property escaped assessment.
County officials may sell personal property immediately after taxes become delinquent and pay off the tax lien from the proceeds of the sale.
Personal property is assessed at market value. This value includes shipping and installation costs. Several methods are used to arrive at the value. Depreciation tables, sales information, cost guides and other resources are used in this process.
Market value is the value that property would sell for in the open market. It is the amount of U.S. dollars or equivalent for which a property would probably exchange hands between a willing seller and an informed buyer.
The value of personal property is included on the assessment notice the county assessor must mail to you by the first Monday in June. When you get your notice, look at it carefully to make sure all the information is accurate.
If you start a new business after Jan. 1, the assessment notice for your personal property is usually mailed by the middle of November. The assessment notice for transient personal property is also mailed in November.
Contact your county assessor if you disagree with the assessed value. Your assessor maintains a file of information on your personal property. If you have questions about your assessment, you should review this information with the assessor to ensure its accuracy.
If you cannot resolve your disagreement with the assessor, you may appeal to the county board of equalization, which consists of your elected county commissioners. Your appeal must be filed with your county clerk by the fourth Monday in June. If you received your assessment notice in November, your appeal must be filed by the fourth Monday in November.
Be prepared to document your reasons for requesting a change in your property's assessed value. You will need to prove that the assessor's value is not the current market values of the personal property.
The market value of your property is one factor in setting the amount of tax you pay. However, the assessor does not determine tax amounts. The amount of taxes is determined by the budgets of the taxing districts in which your property is located.
There are many kinds of taxing districts in Idaho. Some, like cities and counties, provide a wide range of services. Other districts levy taxes for specific purposes like highways, schools or fire protection.
Each taxing district is administered by officials who determine how much money the district needs to provide services. After a district's budget is set, the budget is divided by the total taxable value of all property within the taxing district to arrive at a tax rate. The tax rate is multiplied by the taxable value of your property, resulting in the amount of taxes you owe.
Each property is located within several independent taxing districts. This means your property tax bill includes taxes for all the districts in which your property is located. This combination of taxing districts is known as a "tax code area." Each of these areas is assigned a number that appears on your assessment notice and tax bill. Within each tax code area, the total tax rate is the same for all classes of property.
Normally you will receive your personal property tax bill from the county treasurer by the end of November or early December. If you have questions about the bill, contact the county treasurer.
For December assessments, you should receive the bill in January of the following year.
Taxes are delinquent if not paid by the due date. Delinquent taxes accrue interest and penalty, which are also a lien against your property. At this point the county sheriff can seize and sell your property.
If you sell or close a business, you should notify the county assessor in writing as soon as possible. The assessor will explain how your assessment will be handled.