Guardian Top Stories

Will Idaho Utilities Share Fed Tax Break?

It will be interesting to see if the electric, water, telephone, and gas companies in Idaho plan to share the trump income tax break which has been reduced by 14% for corporations. (see COMMENT below for detailed explanation of math that is actually a 40% tax cut)

The Idaho Public Utilities Commission which regulates those providers wants to know if we get a break since taxes are a component of rates. Here is the PUC press release:

The Idaho Public Utilities Commission has opened an investigation to determine whether regulated utilities’ rates and charges should be adjusted to reflect the impact of the federal tax law passed in late 2017.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 reduced the federal corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, a significant reduction that will reduce the tax bill for many utilities.
Continue reading here…

Semi-Auto Parking Detective

Following up on a reader’s query: “Cars with Boise City logos seen with multiple cameras on the front and rear. What are they for and what city program is it a part of? How much does it cost us?”

The GUARDIAN learned that Boise’s parking Czar has come up with yet another way to monetize the city streets and discourage parking scofflaws.

Here’s what we got from City Councilor Scot Ludwig: “there is one car (Prius) that is a City of Boise vehicle that has a camera in front and back. This vehicle was already in the Boise fleet and was repurposed for time enforcement of parking meters. There is only one vehicle with cameras. The camera is used to reduce “personhours” by taking the photos to enforce for example two hour parking limits. This vehicle replaces the individual enforcement personnel from walking around taking photos and marking tires with chalk. The program reportedly pays for itself with more accurate enforcement.”

Pressless Paper Printing Problem

We take no joy in posting an unsubstantiated, but very likely accurate report that our friends at the IDAHO STATESMAN have lost their printer at the IDAHO FREE PRESS.

The troubled Daily Paper farmed out the printing chores to the Nampa paper several years ago. Now word among the few print journalists left in the area has it that the IPT will no longer print the Statesman. Next closest rotary press is at Twin Falls.
TWIN FALLS confirms our story 1/12/18.

That will mean earlier deadlines, less print coverage of late sports, city council meetings, etc. Papers will have to be hauled the 120 miles back to Boise each day–that is the paper remains a daily.

When the latest publisher jumped ship to be a flak for Idaho Power we all wondered about the reasoning behind her move.

A recent circulation notice in the Statesman revealed fewer than half as many subscriptions as they had during the late 60s and early 70s, despite rampant population increases.

2017 Deadly Year On Boise Streets

If it seems like Boise streets are getting more dangerous, it is because traffic deaths more than doubled in 2017 over 2016.

The biggest jump was in deaths of motorcyclists: 9 in 2017 vs 0 in 2016.

Four pedestrians lost their lives and one bicyclist in both 2016 and 2017. Here are the raw figures:

2017 – 17 total
Single vehicle 3
Motorcycle 9
Vehicle vs pedestrian 4
Vehicle vs bicycle 1

2016 – 7 total
Single vehicle: 2
Vehicle vs motorcycle: 0
Vehicle vs pedestrian: 4
Vehicle vs bicycle: 1

The Foxes Guard The Hen House

UPDATED 1/16/18 KTVB STORYUPDATED 2p.m. 1/5/18 (Law citation)
Our friend Don Day at BOISEDEV posted a story that got our attention and caused us to shake our head.

Developer Scot Ludwig plans to build a pair of towers, nine and eleven stories tall, in downtown Boise that will require approval of the development services office of Boise City along with building permits, city council and CCDC approval.

His chance of approval appear pretty good at the outset. Ludwig is a member of the City Council and a member of the CCDC (urban renewal) board. The director of Boise’s Development Services, Derick O’Neill, has been running Team Dave’s development services department for about five years. He is also listed as the top officer of O’Neill Enterprises, LLC.

Team Dave would easily point to the wisdom of having “experienced” people on their boards and staff. Watch for some laundering of ownership soon.

Here is how the LAW sees it: I.C. 50-2017
“No public official or employee of a municipality (or board or commission thereof), and no commissioner or employee of an urban renewal agency shall voluntarily acquire any personal interest, direct or indirect, in any urban renewal project, or in any property included or planned to be included in any urban renewal project in such municipality or in any contract or proposed contract in connection with such urban renewal project.”

The Boise Guardian

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