Cost of Living
Not Only is Life in Idaho Less Taxing… It’s Literally Less Taxing.
You’ve probably heard about the great recreational opportunities, impressive natural beauty, and outstanding lifestyle Idahoans enjoy. But you might not know Idaho has the 12th lowest overall per capita tax burden in the country and the third lowest tax burden among western states. Our state tax revenues come from a balanced mix of personal income, corporate income, sales, and property taxes, which generate stable funding for needed public services without unfairly burdening any sector. In fact, the Corporation for Enterprise Development ranked Idaho’s tax and fiscal system as the third best in the nation. One positive result is that Idaho’s per capita debt continues to be the lowest in the nation. Companies in Idaho are finding our tax structure very business-friendly.
Idaho’s Famous Three-Legged Stool
Average Urban Rate: 1.6955%
Average Rural Rate: 1.1956%
Idaho state tax revenues come from a well-balanced mix of individual and corporate income, sales and property taxes. These provide a stable base with which to fund public services without unfairly burdening any sector. Income tax and sales/use taxis collected by the State Tax Commission.
Property taxes provide the majority of tax revenues used to fund local government services. The average property tax levy rate in Kootenai County is 1.4% of the taxable value of property. A homeowners exemption is available on a primary residence, this exemption reduces the taxable value of a house by 50 percent up to a maximum of $95,745 in 2016. A rough estimate of property taxes can be calculated by multiplying the average tax rate by the property value, less exemptions. The actual tax rate is the sum of the rates of all taxing districts in one location.
Retirees: Idaho Property Tax Reduction (formerly Circuit Breaker) of up to $1,320 is available to persons age 65 and older, or widowed or disabled persons of any age, or POWs who meet income and residents requirements.
(Individual) Rate: 1.6% to 7.8%*
Individual income tax is graduated so higher earnings are taxed at a higher rate. The first $1,000 of taxable income is taxed at 2%, the next $1,000 is taxed at 4%, etc. The maximum 8.2% tax rate is reached at $20.000 of taxable income for a single filer and $40,000 for married couples filing jointly. Idaho residents are taxed on their total income, even if it is earned in another state or country. Taxpayers are not required to make estimated payments for their individual income income tax return. Credits to offset tax due include: $15 grocery credit ($30 for persons age 65 or over); credit for tax paid to other states; and credits for donations to Idaho educational entities and some nonprofit youth and rehabilitation facilities.
Retirees: Social Security income and Tier 1 Railroad Retirement benefits are not taxed.
SALES TAX Rate: 6%
Sales tax applies to the sale, rental or lease of tangible personal property and some services. Food is taxed but prescriptions are not. Hotel, Motel, and campground accommodations are taxed at a higher rate (7 – 11%). Cities and counties do not impose sales tax. (Exceptions: A few small resort cities have a additional sales tax.)
ESTATE TAX INHERITANCE – GIFT TAX
Estate taxes are determined by federal requirements. Idaho’s estate tax may apply when the gross estate reported to the federal government exceeds $1,500,000 (as of 1/1/2004).
IDAHO HAS NO INHERITANCE OR GIFT TAX
Corporate income tax applies at the rate of 8% on Idaho taxable income. Personal state income tax is based on the taxable income of individuals. With limited exceptions, taxable net income is as defined in the Internal Revenue Code. For further information, visit the Idaho State Tax Commission at: www2.state.id.us/tax/ or call the agency at: 769-1500 or toll free at 1-800-377-3529.
Idaho’s Electronic Filing
Idaho’s Electronic Tax Filing Program now offers more options for filing Idaho tax returns and making tax payments. Electronic filing options are provided through state-sponsored programs and coordinated efforts between private business and the Idaho State Tax Commission. The services provided by these private companies have been approved by the Idaho State Tax Commission, but the companies are not affiliated with the Tax Commission and may charge a fee for their services.
As a convenience to you, the Tax Commission provides access to online filing options and information about other electronic filing options through this page. Internet filing provides an online tax-reporting package that allows you to maintain records of your tax filings. Telefile is available as a free, quick, and easy way to enter and submit your tax information. You can make electronic sales tax and withholding payments through either the Internet or the Telefile filing method. You also can make any electronic payments through a state-sponsored program.
Motor Vehicle Registration
For cars and pick-up trucks, depending on the year and make of the vehicle, the fee is generally between $30 & $50. For more information, please contact the Department of Motor Vehicles-Auto Licensing at: 208-769-4448. For drivers license information, contact Drivers License offices at: 208-769-4466.
The City of Coeur d’Alene has a mayor-council form of government. Steve Judy is the current mayor and there are six members of the city council. Hayden City Hall is led by Mayor Ron McIntire and four council members. Both their entities are fully-staffed to provide a full array of city services. Both communities zoning and planning staff are available to assist you with any building or development questions. You may contact the City Hall at:208-769-2300. They are located at: 710 Mullan Avenue, in Coeur d’Alene.
Kootenai County is governed by three elected commissioners. Other elected officials include a Prosecuting Attorney, Sheriff, Auditor, Assessor, Treasurer, and Coroner. As with the cities, a full professional staff oversees the provision of services. The Board of Commissioners serves as the governing body for the County. The First District Court and County Administration are located at 451 Government Way in Coeur d’Alene. You may reach them by calling: 208-769-4400.