State cabin leaseholders get a reprieve

State cabin leaseholders on Payette and Priest lakes will get a reprieve on their 2014 payments, for a price.

The Idaho Land Board — the five statewide officials who preside over Idaho’s endowment lands, on behalf of public schools and other beneficiaries — agreed to allow leaseholders to defer payments.

The Idaho Department of Lands recommended the deferral plan.


Attorney General Lawrence Wasden

The department’s reasoning: The state is charging cabin leaseholders 4 percent of appraised land value, and this equates to some big cost increases, particularly on Priest Lake. Between 8 to 10 percent of Priest Lake’s 354 leaseholders could wind up walking away over the cost increases, lands department director Tom Schultz told the board Thursday morning.

Under the plan, leaseholders can defer the difference between their 2014 payments and their 2013 payments, for up to two years. Leaseholders must pay 6 percent annual interest.

Gov. Butch Otter, state schools superintendent Tom Luna, Secretary of State Ben Ysursa and Controller Brandon Woolf endorsed the deferral plan. Attorney General Lawrence Wasden voted no.

  • Ryan McGill

    Thank you AG Wasden!!!

    Please, again and again, remind those on the Idaho Land Board of their constitutional responsibilities. MARKET VALUE!!!!

    If those with cabin sites on Idaho land do not like the deal then they are free to leave.

    I am frustrated that this special treatment of leaseholders continues.

    This is money that should be going to public schools.

    This situation is what my conservative buddies call ‘big government corruption.’

    What’s next? Secret mineral rights that someone forgot to tell us about???

    The Idaho Land Board allowing leaseholders to not pay ‘market value’ should be punishable by law. Clearly, the 4 members of the Land Board that are voting yes are not fulfilling their ‘oath of office’ to the Idaho State Constitution. If this is the case they need to be impeached immediately.

    The Idaho Constitution says ‘market value,’ 4 of the 5 vote to allow leaseholders to not pay market value = not fulfilling their ‘oath of office’ and therefore they need to be impeached.

    I do not see any level of interpretation in the law and neither does AG Wasden.

    This was a front page issue one month before Tom Luna revealed his ‘Students Come First Laws’ about 2 years ago. AG Wasden was coming down hard on the land board and then it went silent.

    This land was set aside, generations ago, to provide for public schools and teachers. Our Land Board needs to honor that legacy and follow the Idaho Constitution. Or, get someone in there that is not afraid of a few hundred leaseholders that might threaten to withhold some campaign money….

    Keep the pressure on them AG Wasden.

    Ryan McGill

  • Gayla Sweeney

    Many of the folks that built on Priest Lake’s leased land don’t have the funds to hold on. We are retired teachers, teachers, police, secretaries, and elderly. Three families doing all we can to hold on long enough for the monarch of our family to pass, so that she doesn’t have to lose what she built. I guess maybe if you could hear the stories of how and why the Cabin was built. Hear about how many layers of stain went on every board, how she drove the nails, and how big that tree was when she planted it. She gets to leave the nursing home as much as is allowed in the summer to return to her “home”. Feel the spirit of her husband, feel the closeness of her loved ones, and state over and over, “There isn’t a more beautiful place!” You don’t get to see her cry as she leaves, not to mention the rest of us.

    Those making these decisions aren’t seeing my husband cry and desperately try to do what is right for his family. They aren’t watching the stress take years off his life. They aren’t seeing the grand kids cry when they have to leave the lake. It is all about money to those who are making the decisions, not about the families they are destroying.

    I have heard rumors that the real reason the leases went so high was to push people like us off the lakes so the southern politicians and lawyers can swoop in and buy. I hear that is what is being done at Payette Lake. I sure hope that isn’t the case.