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Property Taxpayers May have to Pay Back Millions

Power Line, Benito Baeza

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho officials said Wednesday that property taxpayers statewide may have to repay up to $11.6 million to utilities that contend state appraisers have inflated the value of their office buildings, turbines and transmission lines. Rocky Mountain Power-parent PacifiCorp, along with Idaho Power Co., have challenged the Idaho State Tax Commission’s appraisal of their properties in recent years. PacifiCorp won a lawsuit over the issue in 2010, and Idaho Supreme Court justices are just now considering the Tax Commission’s appeal of the decision. If justices rule against the state, taxpayers could see higher assessments as counties, fire departments and other taxing districts scramble to repay money they’ve already received from utilities. Tony Poinelli of the Idaho Association of Counties says his group is worried about budget impacts for local governments.

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