Approximately 38,000 landowners have received an eye-popping piece of email.
The Nampa and Meridian Irrigation District has emailed tax notices to users of irrigation water on some 69,000 acres of farmland, residential and commercial land, including pressurized irrigation for more than 15,000 individual parcels of land in Ada and Canyon counties.
District officials had set a 2013 assessment for irrigation at approximately $55.30 per acre, or approximately $13.83 for a typical residential lot.
Nonpayment of the tax levy means the property will be listed as delinquent. That triggers a mandatory process that first requires that a lien be established against the property. Then, if the tax bill remains unpaid for three years, the law requires that tax deed action be taken against the property. That can potentially result in the property being sold at auction to satisfy the back taxes.
Meanwhile in the Magic Valley, water managers have begun draining canals below Milner Dam, earlier than usual.
This morning's Twin Falls Times-News reports that the early closing of gates at Milner is expected to save irrigation water for next spring, as one official says Snake River water reserves above Milner are "the lowest he has seen in almost a decade."
The north side canal system delivers irrigation to 160,000 acres in Jerome, Gooding and Elmore counties while the south side canal system irrigates another 212,000 acres.