City passes $34.6M budget, $930K+ in property tax relief

End of downtown construction, sunset of 1% tax trims $4.7M from previous year

By Zach Hagadone
Reader Staff

The Sandpoint City Council unanimously passed a $34.6 million dollar budget for Fiscal Year 2021 and approved a budget ordinance at its meeting Sept. 2, also providing $934,757 in property tax relief for Sandpoint ratepayers.  

The 2021 budget is approximately $4.7 million less than 2020, due to completion of the Phase 2 Downtown Revitalization Project in 2020 and the scheduled expiration of the five-year voter-approved Local Option Sales Tax on Dec. 31.  

Greenlit by voters in 2016, revenues generated by the 1% LOT funded the construction of the new Cotton Barlow Stadium and gateway at War Memorial Field, as well as the recent field improvements and upcoming infrastructure work on the parking lot, lighting, boat launch and waterfront access.

The tax relief intended to benefit Sandpoint residents is provided through Idaho Gov. Brad Little’s Public Safety Grant Initiative for Cities and Counties. Under its terms, local municipalities must voluntarily opt in to participate in the program, which leverages federal coronavirus relief funds to cover local public safety personnel salaries, thus giving cities and counties the opportunity to pass along those savings to property taxpayers.  

Participating jurisdictions must agree not to increase their tax levy or use any foregone levy amount available from prior years. 

The property tax levy rate in Sandpoint for 2021 is projected at $3.78 per $1,000 of assessed property value, compared to $4.70 in 2020.

Based on a median-valued home of $359,000 with a homeowner’s exemption, the property tax savings from the prior year will be $240.28.

“The city, through good fiscal stewardship, is in a strong financial position that enables participation in this program without impacting city services,” stated Sandpoint Mayor Shelby Rognstad. “We are pleased to be able to pass along the tax relief to our property owners in Sandpoint.”

While we have you ...

... if you appreciate that access to the news, opinion, humor, entertainment and cultural reporting in the Sandpoint Reader is freely available in our print newspaper as well as here on our website, we have a favor to ask. The Reader is locally owned and free of the large corporate, big-money influence that affects so much of the media today. We're supported entirely by our valued advertisers and readers. We're committed to continued free access to our paper and our website here with NO PAYWALL - period. But of course, it does cost money to produce the Reader. If you're a reader who appreciates the value of an independent, local news source, we hope you'll consider a voluntary contribution. You can help support the Reader for as little as $1.

You can contribute at either Paypal or Patreon.

Contribute at Patreon Contribute at Paypal

You may also like...

Close [x]

Want to support independent local journalism?

The Sandpoint Reader is our town's local, independent weekly newspaper. "Independent" means that the Reader is locally owned, in a partnership between Publisher Ben Olson and Keokee Co. Publishing, the media company owned by Chris Bessler that also publishes Sandpoint Magazine and Sandpoint Online. Sandpoint Reader LLC is a completely independent business unit; no big newspaper group or corporate conglomerate or billionaire owner dictates our editorial policy. And we want the news, opinion and lifestyle stories we report to be freely available to all interested readers - so unlike many other newspapers and media websites, we have NO PAYWALL on our website. The Reader relies wholly on the support of our valued advertisers, as well as readers who voluntarily contribute. Want to ensure that local, independent journalism survives in our town? You can help support the Reader for as little as $1.