Idaho auctions 18 Priest Lake lots

| August 19, 2020 1:00 AM

PRIEST LAKE — The Idaho Department of Lands auctioned 18 state-owned lake front lots at Priest Lake for deeded ownership during a public, oral auction Saturday in Coeur d’Alene.

The land sales today generated $11,754,720 — which is $3,057,000 over the appraised value — for the endowment fund that supports public schools, with eight properties selling for the appraised value and 10 sold with competitive bidding.

The Idaho Constitution requires a public auction for the disposal of state endowment trust lands, and IDL can accept no less than the appraised value of the properties.

All the property auctioned today had homes on them. The land is owned by endowment beneficiaries, and the cabins and other improvements on the land are owned by leaseholders as personal property. The auction was for the land only.

Current leaseholders purchased 13 of the 18 lots, five of the lots were won by non-lessee bidders. Two lessees applied for the voluntarily auction but chose not to bid. The winning non-lessee bidders will pay the amount bid for the land and the appraised value of the personal property, which will be reimbursed to the lessee.

Under the direction of the State Board of Land Commissioners (Land Board), IDL manages more than 2.5 million acres of state endowment trust land under a constitutional mandate to maximize long-term financial returns to public schools and a number of other state of Idaho institutions. The Land Board is comprised of Idaho’s governor, secretary of state, attorney general, state controller, and superintendent of public instruction.

In 2010, the Land Board approved a plan to divest the state’s ownership of most cottage sites at both lakes over time. The Land Board authorized IDL to offer most of the remaining residential lake lots for auction through 2024. Additionally, IDL will be auctioning un-leased lots at both lakes.

Including Saturday’s auction, 447 cottage sites have been sold — 299 lots at Priest Lake (283 leased and 16 unleased) and 148 lots at Payette Lake (127 leased and 21 unleased) — for a total of $205,165,185 for the endowments.

The funds from the land sales will be deposited in the “Land Bank” and used to purchase other lands in Idaho or they may go into a Permanent Fund, in order to continue earning returns for the endowment beneficiaries. In May 2016, the Land Board approved the Strategic Reinvestment Plan and will consider strategic acquisitions of timberland and, on a more limited basis, farmland with the proceeds from the sale of cottage sites and commercial properties.