As the United States begins to get a handle on the coronavirus pandemic and travel starts to open up in many areas, many people are considering how they can safely take a trip at the end of the summer.
Despite international travel restrictions being lifted, Americans are not exactly being welcomed with open arms in a number of destinations so it’s time to rediscover some of the destinations that may have fallen off the ol’ bucket list.
This week, we start with Sun Valley, Idaho. Idaho is in phase 4 of its reopening with most retail, dining and tour establishments open for business in the state.
During a recent visit to the destination, I can confirm that travelers looking to escape to an alpine setting for a relaxing vacation away from the perils of COVID-19 will find their stay blissful.
Visitors will need to bring a mask but they will also find stunning hiking trails, adventure activities galore, al fresco dining, luxury shopping and more.
Travelers have their choice to stay at high-end resorts such as the Sun Valley Lodge or choose from a variety of vacation rentals. The local airport has regularly scheduled flights and Sun Valley is also a convenient drive destination from many places in the Northwest.
Most well-known as a ski destination, lifts do operate in the summer taking guests to the top of the mountain for views of the valley and offering the chance to dine outdoors at the Roundhouse restaurant.
Popular activities in the area include white-water rafting, horseback riding, biking, hiking, fishing—and even ice skating—as well as day trips to places like Shoshone Falls and Redfish Lake.
Visitors to Sun Valley in the summer are sure to discover why this hidden gem is more than a winter skiing hot spot.
Ketchum, Sun Valley skyrocket after slow start to 2020!
Home sales are up in the Wood River Valley as city dwellers looking to relocate to a more sparsely populated place flock to the Sun Valley area, local real estate agents say.
The number of home sales pending in Blaine County in the first three weeks of June was 75 percent higher than it was at the same time last year, data from the Sun Valley Board of Realtors shows, after a drop in sales following COVID-19’s arrival in Idaho. As the number of new cases in Blaine County has flattened and Idaho businesses have reopened, local real estate brokers say they are now seeing an unusually high demand for land and homes, especially in the northern part of the valley.
Ketchum has seen the largest boom, with 34 sales pending between June 1 and June 23—a 277 percent increase from the same timeframe in 2019. Sun Valley saw a 90 percent increase in pending sales, with 19 homes under contract, and Hailey experienced a 36 percent increase from last year.
Sun Valley, known for its spectacular ski resorts, has so much more to offer than downhill. If your ambition is to be one with nature and experience the active Wild West backcountry life, then a visit to Sun Valley needs to be on your travel agenda. In addition to skiing, backcountry fun is what put Sun Valley on the map. Here are some excellent things to do, even if you’re not in the mood for the slopes.
Hiking Trails Bring Nature Front And Center– Sun Valley has hiking trails that will suit anyone’s physical fitness and abilities.
Paragliding For A Bird’s- Eye View-If you have ever wanted to fly like a bird, paragliding is the next best thing.
Casting For Fish–The tug is the drug. It’s the mantra of anglers worldwide.
Garden Walks– Offers wildflower walks throughout the spring and summer months.
On- And Off-Trail Snowmobiling– The exhilarating rush of zipping along a snow-covered trail surrounded by woodland scenery will remind you why you are on vacation.
Sports Target Shooting– Wide-open spaces give you ample room to learn or practice your marksmanship skills.
Birding– Grab your camera and binoculars for a hike.
Zen Spa Treatments-Skiing or no skiing, taking care of yourself is a wonderful gift.
Camp In A Yurt-This is certainly something you can humble-brag about.
Eating In Sun Valley-There are a multitude of options for dining in Sun Valley, and from luxurious fine dining to brewpubs, you will surely find a great spot!
Did you know about these Property Tax Discounts?
Home Owners Exemption
– If your home is your primary residence, you qualify for the Home Owners Exemption (HOE). The exemption applies to fifty percent of the value of the residence or $100,000, whichever is less. You must apply and occupy your home by April 15th, you only need to file for this once.
And you can now apply online: https://www.co.blaine.id.us/FormCenter/Assessor-17/Homeowners-Exemption-Application-80
100% Service-Connected Disabled Veterans Benefit
– If you qualify, the property taxes on your home and up to one acre of land may be reduced by as much as $1,320. The program doesn’t have an income limit. You must file the application with your assessor’s office between January 1 and April 15, every year.
Circuit Breaker – Generally for Seniors, Widow(er)s, the Blind, Veterans and Disabled people
– If you qualify, the property taxes on your home and up to one acre of land may be reduced by as much as $1,320. You must file the application with your assessor’s office between January 1 and April 15, every year.
What Does the Asssessor Think is Your Property Value?
Each year, the Assessor’s office attempts estimate how much a buyer might reasonably pay for your property if it were to sell on January 1. This assessed value is sent out to property owners by the first Monday in June. To see what your home is assessed for go to:
You can also see here if the HOE is being applied.
Don’t worry! The Assessor is notoriously behind market values.
If you really want to know what your property is worth, call us and we’ll give you an accurate market valuation.
Do You Think You are Being Over Assessed?
If you disagree with your assessed value, you can take these steps in this order:
1. Contact your local county assessor’s office and speak with your “appraiser”.
2. Contact your county clerk to file an appeal with the Board of Equalization (BOE) by the fourth Monday in June. Typically, the board meets to hear appeals between the fourth Monday in June and the second Monday in July.
3. If you disagree with the BOE’s decision, ask your county clerk how you can appeal within 30 days to either:
• The State Board of Tax Appeals
• The District Court
Contact us if you feel your property is over assessed and we can work with you to present comparable sales information for your appeal.
How Much Can My Taxes Go Up?
While there’s no legal limit to how much any property’s tax bill can increase or decrease, each taxing district can only raise the property tax portion of its budget by no more than 3% unless one or both of these apply:
• Voters approve an increase to property tax revenue (e.g., bonds, overrides)
• Your taxing districts apply new construction or new annexations
Blaine County’s 2019 Urban Tax Rate is 0.690% and the Rural rate 0.569% of taxable value.
Arnold Schwarzenegger property 2019 tax bill was $59,413.38
Want more tax info?
Call us or try these pages: