City Government

Meridian School Bond Battle

The taxpayer snipers have their sights trained on the upcoming Meridian School Bond battle and early indications show the District’s volunteer army may not be as experienced as their tax foe adversaries.

The first skirmish had kids used as innocent couriers for a pro bond post card that crowds the line of propriety with a message that “Growth will pay for this school bond.” A GUARDIAN reader claims there is no identification as to who wrote or funded the postcard…we hear it is sort of from a parents group.

Opponents say using the kids is cheating. When asked if the opponents could send THEIR message home with kids, the Meridian School spokesman said only the card was funded by private supporters and cards should have been mailed, not sent with kids. The message endorses a policy of encouraging growth to fund schools that are needed as a result of the growth–it is a never ending cycle built only on GROWTH. The boom will someday turn to bust.

The Meridian Schools spokesman stands by the message–he wrote it. He contends accurately–but with only half the truth– that tax LEVY RATES will not increase. For the vast majority of Meridian residents, the increase in property values fueled by growth will result in HIGHER taxes. Sneaky way of (not) saying your tax bill will increase by the same percentage your property VALUE increases.

No doubt about the crowding in some Meridian schools. The bond will only pay for the new buildings. All of the annual teacher and staff salaries–by far the biggest expense–will have to come out of operating budgets. Classroom2.jpg
It is a conundrum resulting from a pro-growth City Council and not the making of the school district administration. (For non-library types: “conundrum” is not a dirty word, it means a confusing or difficult problem.)

The anti bond snipers got a list of the taxpayers in the District from the Administration and has sent a mailing with reasons to vote against the indebtedness. Look for the usual “well balanced” opinion pieces in the Statesman and on TV with a leaning toward the bond approval in a Statesman editorial with a cautionary note that something needs to be done in the future to curb the problem.

The migrant worker TV newsies will get manipulated by the school folks with stories of classes being held in closets, busing babies to far away areas, leaky roofs, and other ills which could be solved by a simple “yes” vote on the bond.

The answer is IMPACT FEES in the form of a 5% sales tax on new home construction.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Is this a simple majority vote?
    Ed note: It takes 2/3 “yes” to approve. So called supermajority.

  2. Treva Hamilton
    Sep 16, 2005, 10:59 am

    I discussed this subject with a neighbor last evening – we are in the Meridian School District and will face another school bond election soon. (Didn’t we just do this?) My neighbor had the suggestion that we instead bus those surplus children to the Boise District which has been complaining about losing students. Or would turf battles be too hard to overcome?

Get the Guardian by email

Enter your email address: