So the real estate recession is over?
It's been over. This is the second consecutive year residential property values were up in every assessment area of Ada County. The increases ranged from about 10.8 percent in Northeast Boise to 18.9 percent in Kuna.
Are values as high as before the recession?
No. The median assessed value of a home in Ada County peaked in 2008 at $211,600. By 2012 that number had plummeted to $137,900. This year the median value is $177,500, a 28.7 percent increase over 2012. That brings us to nearly the same values as 2006.
What does this tell us about real estate and construction activity?
The total value of new residential and commercial construction in 2012 was $263 million. That amount skyrocketed 193 percent to $771.5 million last year. Nearly half of last year's new construction - $363.6 million - took place in Meridian. Boise recorded $163.8 million.
Great. I guess this means my property taxes are going up, right?
Not necessarily. The property assessments mailed in recent days are for values as of Jan. 1, 2013. The new values are those on which 2014 property taxes will be calculated, although tax bills don't go out until later this year after each of the county's 42 taxing districts set their levies in October. And there's no law that says they have to go up; if all values are up, tax increases possibly could be spread over a broader base.
What happened to Canyon County values?
Residential assessed values are up across the county. Overall residential value increased 37 percent in Caldwell, 33 percent in Nampa and 21 percent in rural areas.
How are these values calculated?
All county assessors are required by state law to assess the value of all taxable property every year. In Ada and Canyon counties, physical inspections are conducted every five years. In other years, the assessor determines values by analyzing construction costs and reviewing recent sales data gathered from the Multiple Listing Service, property owners, agents, builders, developers and independent appraisers.
What if I disagree with my assessment?
If you think it's higher than your property would probably sell for on the open market, you can appeal. The appeal addresses the market value of your property, not property taxes.
Appeal forms are available at adacounty.id.gov, at the Ada County Assessor's Office, 190 East Front Street, Suite 107, or from the Ada County Commissioners' Office, 200 W. Front St., 3rd Floor. Property value assessment appeals must be filed by 5 p.m. June 23. For information, call the assessor's office at 287-7200.
Cynthia Sewell: 377-6428, Twitter: @CynthiaSewell