LEADER -- The value of new construction in Cass County last year was nearly double that of five years earlier, Cass County Assessor Steve Kuha told the county board Tuesday.
It also is 27.7 percent higher than a year earlier.
Kuha said the value of off-water acreages has increased 20 percent a year the last 10 years.
In determining values of taxable property as a base from which property taxes are computed, Kuha said the overall value of taxable land in Cass County for the 1998 assessment used to determine 1999 taxes was $1,903,300,000.
The 2002 assessment to be used to compute 2003 taxes puts the total taxable county valuation at $3,465,000,000, Kuha said.
Of that, $46,490,000 was new construction in the 1998 assessment, while new construction was $84,020,000 in the 2002 assessment, he said.
Kuha said that because there are not major industrial plants within the county comparable to Potlatch, this new construction increase comes from many relatively minor construction projects for homes and small businesses.
He also presented a report on changes over the last 10 years in which property owners pay locally levied taxes. This does not include the 1-year-old state general property tax for education.
The state Legislature determines property tax classifications and the percent of tax each class will pay. Variations in the percent of total local taxes paid also may reflect a shift in the amount of land from one class to another.
Farmers' property taxes have dropped over the last decade from 3.7 percent of the local Cass County property tax to 2.7 percent. While the Legislature has reduced the agricultural land classification rate, there also is less agricultural land today than 10 years ago.
Cabin owners paid 46.4 percent of local taxes in 1993, and will pay 42.6 percent this year, Kuha said, despite a significant increase in the value of those properties in the last decade. This is because the Legislature reduced the rate for that class.
Railroad and utility taxes have dropped from 3.1 percent of Cass local tax revenue to 1.9 percent this year. Those paying personal property taxes for such property as mobile homes placed on leased land, such as a mobile home park, paid 11 percent of local taxes in 1993, and will pay 5.8 percent this year.
Resort owners will pay virtually the same percent of Cass taxes this year as 10 years ago, 4.5 versus 4.4 percent. This reflects in part fewer total resorts today, but remaining resorts being of higher value than 10 years ago.
The tax burden has shifted to home and business owners. Homestead homeowners paid 21.8 percent of local Cass property taxes in 1993, and will pay 29 percent this year. Business owners paid 7.4 percent of local taxes in 1993. They will pay 10.3 percent this year.
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