Treasurer Sara Sexton appeared before the commissioners with a stack of files that were parcels put up for sale at the last land sale. She said according to Idaho Code the county commissioners were responsible for putting things up for sale, and handling the details. She said she no longer wants to be the middle man.
In regards to the sale of the property at St. Joe Riverside Tracts, Sexton said no one came to ask her about it or even said there was in issue.
“So why should I do it?” Sexton said.
Sexton said she didn’t mind doing the current sales, but wanted nothing to do with those from previous sales.
“I’m not going to be in the middle, and have people calling my office asking why they didn’t sign the deed,” Sexton said.
Sexton said if commissioners could come up with a new policy of how things will work, she would look at it again. Sexton said there is a lack of communication and a disconnect between her office, the commissioners, the assessor, and legal counsel in regards to land sales.
Sexton added in the past they have never reconsidered the valuation of a property once a minimum bid was set, and she said it is not her office’s duty to value properties. She said some of the stuff done was “wishy washy” and that she “doesn’t agree with how it was done.”
Reynolds asked for an example, and Sexton said 40 percent were taken off the full values when it should have been lower. Sexton said in the past a legislator was disappointed with Benewah County for how many parcels were for sale, instead of it being sold and put back on the tax rolls. She said other treasurer offices in the state do not handle land sales, and reiterated she would not “be part of it” until a better procedure was put in place.
Lampert said her comments would be taken under advisement, and asked if Sexton wanted to be part of discussions to come up with a new plan of procedure to which she said yes.
During remarks, Sexton also shared that outstanding property taxes to be paid to the county were the lowest she’d seen. Outstanding taxes for 2022 to the county was 36 percent. Usually, the county is closer to 40 to 42 percent left owing around this same time in year’s past. A total of $3.545 million is still due to the county out of a total of $9.749 million.
“People are paying their taxes,” Sexton said.
She added in an email to the Gazette Record, “Keep in mind that the mortgage payments are always paid in half and all the large companies such as Potlatch, Stimson, Inland empire, and then mortgage companies make a big part of what is left.”
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