There’s a long-term question of whether North Lincoln County gets fairly treated in county services. Back when the county was created in 1909, it made sense – everything drained into the Kootenai (except for Stryker, and driving 93 toward Kalispell makes it easy to see how that mistake was made.) Sixty years later, Libby Dam removed the towns along the Kootenai that were the middle of the county. Since then, Lincoln County has existed with a center that is “drive-through” and commerce from Eureka generally goes along highway 93.
The easiest way to get the taxable values data is to search by school districts. The Office of Public Instruction shows them, and we only need to check the 3 high schools. This data is from the FY2021 budget reports.
The county lists 7 school districts and taxable values are available by school district, and the 2010 Census SF1 provides population data by school districts. Libby has a unified school district, while Eureka needs Fortine and Trego added, and Troy needs Yaak and McCormack added. The 2010 Census Profile shows:
Taking the taxable values and apportioning through the population, allows us to rank the proportion of county services each resident of the three districts funds:
|High School District||Taxable Valuation per Capita|
|Lincoln County High School||$1,680.77|
The data demonstrates that the burden of funding Lincoln County’s services falls lightest on the average Libbyan, heavier on the North County, and heaviest on the Trojans. Demonstrating that the North County receives less service requires a different method of extracting data.