Maggie Butte land buy tweaks local tax base

Difference will be divided among all the remaining taxable property

When the Idaho Department of Lands acquired about 2,400 acres of former Potlatch Corporation timberland at Maggie Butte last year, the transaction cut about $4,100 a year from the flow of property tax and fee dollars the landowners were paying to the local and state government.

IDL is exempt from paying taxes, and IDL assesses fire protection fees to some landowners. Based on the amounts the prior landowners paid last year, about $1,500 of $4,100 sent to the government had gone to IDL for wildfire protection.

Roughly $2,600 was billed to the former Maggie Butte owners by four taxing districts, divided as follows: Idaho County ($2,264), the Kamiah school district ($16), the Kamiah library ($279) and the Kamiah cemetery ($37).

Now that the 10 parcels roughly 10 miles east of Kamiah are state-owned, the local governments won’t receive those taxes from that land – but the taxing districts won’t go short-handed. Rather, when the tax collectors figure next year’s bills, the difference will be divided among all the remaining taxable property in each of the taxing districts.

According to the state agency’s 2016 annual report, which it released last month, the state endowment now holds about 74,000 acres in Idaho County. Statewide, IDL manages about a million acres of timberland and about 1.4 million acres of rangeland, as well as smaller amounts of commercial land, farmland and residential land. IDL’s management is on track to provide more than $30 million for Idaho’s public schools in 2017.

The Maggie Butte land becomes part of IDL’s Maggie Creek supervisory area, where nearly 58 million board feet of sawlogs were produced and more than 62 million board feet of sawlogs were sold last year.

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