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House Bill 401 — Homestead exemption, penalties

House Bill 401 — Homestead exemption, penalties

Parrish Miller
January 20, 2024

Bill Description: House Bill 401 would impose financial penalties and criminal sanctions on individuals who improperly claim more than one homestead exemption.

Rating: -1

Does it directly or indirectly create or increase penalties for victimless crimes or non-restorative penalties for nonviolent crimes? Conversely, does it eliminate or decrease penalties for victimless crimes or non-restorative penalties for non-violent crimes?

Idaho code allows homeowners to claim a property tax exemption for one homestead. House Bill 401 would amend Section 63-602G, Idaho Code, to assess a penalty on a taxpayer who improperly claims more than one homestead exemption. 

This penalty would be equal to the amount of the improperly received exemption, effectively doubling the repayment amount owed by the taxpayer.

In addition to the financial penalty assessed above, any subsequent improper homestead exemption filed within 7 years would be prosecuted as a misdemeanor, which carries a penalty of a fine up to $1,000 and up to six months of incarceration.

Neither the financial penalty nor the criminal prosecution requires that the improper homestead exemption be claimed knowingly or intentionally.

Even in cases where taxes are misfiled intentionally, incarcerating the offender would not be restorative for — and would actually impose greater costs on — the very taxpayers who would have been the potential victims of the original offense had it gone undetected. 


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