I, like many of you, received the assessment notice for my property on June 24 (19 days past when it should have been received). I was shocked to find the new assessment for my property increased by $89,488 or 28.6 percent in a one-year period. This is absolutely absurd and I would like to know how the county could justify such an extreme increase? I spoke with my appraiser earlier in the spring and assured him we have made NO improvements or changes on our property and he was satisfied that things were the same. If I could sell my property for the amount the county now claims it is worth I would do it in a heartbeat. We are out of the city limits and have terrible road service by the county, our private drive is long and personally maintained, we do not own a well for the property (we pay for the use of water of an existing well), and we have no services such as water, sewer or garbage.

I would like to see the comparable properties that the county assessor used to justify raising my (and the entire county's) values by 28.6 percent or more. I have been working with realtors, and they cannot find any current acreage comparable properties for me with this type of increase, so what is the county basing this “blanket increase" on? The burden of proof rests with the county and Sheri Davies to prove these new values. I am sure that I am not the only person who is complaining about this horrendous and outrageous price jump. If the county can prove that these values went up by 28.6 percent in a year’s time, then I am not against my property value increasing if the county will also reduce the levy by the same percentage. This price increase is an abuse of power and is no different than the cause of the Boston Tea Party. That is taxation without representation. It is actions such as these that should call for the resignation of the current assessor and/or the county commissioners if they are supporting such actions.

I recently retired and am on a fixed income. My parents who live just down the lane from me are in their mid-80s and are in the same situation as I am. My parent’s home is over 100-years old and could never be sold because of the “out of code” updates that would need to be made to it. We are permanent home owners who will never sell our homes, so these inflated values only work to serve the county in unwarranted pay raises and who knows what else. I respectfully request that the county place the same value on our home and property and ALL other residents of Bannock County as in the past, or as stated, reduce the levy by the same percentage.

Lastly, I find it very unprofessional that these assessment notices were sent out so late and thus did not give hardly any of the tax paying citizens proper time to file their appeals.

Clayton Armstrong,