COUNTY BUDGET PROCESS:
The process of assembling the County Budget continues throughout the year. The Assessor’s office works on a five year plan of assessing each parcel of land in the County according to the Uniform Assessment Code, which specifies that like property must be assessed in a like manner.
The Taxing districts (those entities listed on your tax notice that your property personally funds) have their budget hearings during the Spring and Summer each year. It is important to attend these meetings as this is where the initial budget requests come from. Click here for list of budget hearings.
Each taxing district determines what they will need to operate for the coming year (within guidelines set forth in Idaho Code). They present their proposed budget to the County Clerk who uses that information along with the information gathered from all the other County Offices’ proposed budgets to assemble the preliminary budget.
The County Clerk prepares the budget for the County Commissioners from all the information gathered. Each entity presents their own portion of the budget during the county budget hearings.
In addition to the actual taxing districts, the county is required to fund:
- Assess and Value all Property
- Collect Taxes/fees/special assessments for other entities
- Solid Waste Collection/Disposaal
- Water Systems
- Planning / Zoning
- County Road & Bridge Operations
- Noxious Weeds
- Conducting Elections
- Recording all Legal Documents
- Process Passports
- Administer certain estates when others will not
- GIS Mapping & Parcels
- Pay portion of Community College Tuition
- Various Federal Programs (Clean Water/Air, etc.)
- Vehicle registration & titling for State
The County Commissioners have discretionary authority to contribute to other entities. The following is a non-inclusive list of non-mandatory county functions. Some are and some are not shared with cities.
- Agriculture Extension
- Economic Development (SREDA)
- Historical Society / Museum
- Senior Programs
- Veterans Services
- Soil Conservation
- WICAP – Homemaker
- Project Rose
- Sage Community Development
- Community Guardians
The value of the property in the county, as determined by the Assessor’s office, times the levy rate (the amount needed to fund each budget in your taxing district, plus whatever additional amounts have been approved by the Commissioners) will be your tax amount. (Subject to any special exemptions such as Property Tax Reduction, Home Owner’s Exemption, etc.)
By the second Monday in September, the Commissioners will approve the budget and it will be ratified by the State Tax Commission. This process is completed annually prior to the end of the physical year. Washington County’s physical year begins October 1 and ends September 30.
The Treasurer’s office collects all tax payments and distributes them as directed by the County Commissioners.