Local Properties Risk Sale At Public Auction
Due To Unpaid Irrigation District Taxes
Meridian--Failure to pay their irrigation taxes for the past several years may prove extremely costly to three Boise homeowners whose properties are set to be sold at auction August 16 by the Nampa & Meridian Irrigation District for just pennies on the dollar of their assessed value, District officials announced today.
In one example, a Boise residence with an assessed value of $232,000 could be sold for $402.71 in unpaid taxes, an amount just less than one-tenths of 1 percent (0.0017%) of its assessed value. The three properties have a total assessed value of $501,600 according to Ada County tax assessor records. The three properties have a combined tax bill due of $1,122.94.
The tax deed auction comes because the owners have failed to pay their irrigation taxes for the years 2012 through 2015. The three properties are homes in Boise residential subdivisions.
A certified letter warning of the pending tax deed action was mailed in June to the property owners in addition to several other written notices. Legal notices listing the properties were also published in the local daily newspaper, according to Daren Coon, NMID Secretary/Treasurer.
Although not required, NMID officials also take an extra step by trying to find and personally notify the property owners by a final hand delivered notice. Coon plans to do that this coming week.
The tax deed sale, mandated under Idaho law, sets the minimum bid for each property at the amount of taxes owed plus expenses related to the delinquency. However, the property owners can avoid their property being sold by paying the taxes due prior to the opening of the bids. Most property owners do pay with just a few properties actually having been sold over the past several years, Coon said.
Local residents can find out if they have unpaid NMID irrigation taxes by visiting the District website at nmid.org. They can also check with the District office at 466-7861
“These extreme cases represent just a tiny fraction of the more than 37,000 patrons in our District. But the failure to pay the annual assessments has put the properties in jeopardy. We go to great lengths to try to avoid these types of tax deed sale situations but it’s out of our hands. Idaho law is very specific about what steps the District is required to take to recover the tax money owed on the property,” according to Coon.
The problem arises in some instances because the property owner information is not changed with NMID when the property is sold. That means the annual tax assessment notice goes to the previous owners. In other cases property owners mistakenly believe they do not need to pay the annual NMID assessment because they do not receive or use irrigation water, Coon added.
Idaho law specifies that all property owners in the district are to help pay the costs of maintaining the irrigation system, whether they use water or not. Also, some property owners wrongly believe the irrigation tax payment is part of their escrow tax payment being made by the mortgage company” Coon said.
The taxes are used to pay for operation and maintenance of the canals, laterals, drains and dams that make up the District's water delivery system. Levies also are assessed against individual subdivision parcels using pressurized irrigation systems in subdivisions around the valley.
NMID delivers irrigation water to 69,000 acres of farm, residential and commercial land in the Treasure Valley including pressurized irrigation to more than 15,000 residential and commercial lots. For information about the District call 466-7861. Information is also available on its internet website: www.nmid.org.