The DAILY PAPER ran a comprehensive story today about a planned development north of Eagle which plans to take advantage of a recently passed law that is nothing but a financial scam.
The law requires an election and approval of two-thirds of the resident property owners. According to the STATESMAN story, M3 Spring Valley is the ONLY property owner.
That may sound like a slam-dunk, but Idaho law defines QUALIFIED ELECTORS very clearly (18 years of age, citizen, resident, etc.) and there is NO PROVISION for any corporation to vote. In short–there are no voters if an election were to be held today to sell bonds.
IDAHO CODE 50-3102
(13) “Qualified elector” means a person who possesses all of the qualifications required of electors under the general laws of the state of Idaho and:
(a) Resides within the boundaries of a district or a proposed district and who is a qualified elector. For purposes of this chapter, such elector shall also be known as a “resident qualified elector”; or
(b) Is an owner of real property that is located within the district or a proposed district, who is not a resident qualified elector as set forth above. For purposes of this chapter, such elector shall also be known as an “owner qualified elector.”
Legal scholars we contacted agreed that provision 13(b) could face constitutional challenges in that it allows non-residents to vote if they own property.
M3 development calls this latest development project “Spring Valley” and the plan is to ask Eagle city council to create a “Community Infrastructure District” (CID) on 5,610 acres of mostly treeless high desert land in the foothills north of Eagle so they can build more than 7,000 homes.
The way a CID works, once the District is approved, the District can then sell bonds to finance the water, sewer, roads, etc. “WITH TWO-THIRDS APPROVAL OF THE QUALIFIED ELECTORS” at an election conducted by the governing authority–the city or county. The bond payments are tacked onto the property taxes supposedly with full disclosure. However, it’s difficult to have an election with no voters.
GROWTHOPHOBES will be watching this one closely because the whole scam is nothing more than a development loan to a single land speculator cloaked as a municipal finance deal. Look for them to split off some lots in order to “qualify” an elector or two.
The STATESMAN said M3 representatives told the Eagle council earlier this month the company anticipates issuing about $9 million in bonds annually over the development’s 20 years. The estimated annual Spring Valley CID payments on a $250,000 home would be $1,316…all other local taxes for schools, fire, county, and city would be added onto that figure.
We have had enough bad banking decisions in the past. Let’s hope they don’t fall for this ill conceived creation.
To insure more advertising-free Boise Guardian news, please consider financial support.