LATE BREAKING UPDATE
A reader directed us to the the Idaho Code and it looks like the cities–not the county holds the high ground in this turf battle.
31-3905. AMBULANCE SERVICE — OPERATION DEPENDENT UPON RESOLUTION OF EACH CITY — RIGHT TO TAX UNAFFECTED BY NONSERVICE. “All cities and villages within the county, upon resolution duly passed and approved and presented to the board of county commissioners, may authorize said ambulance service to operate within the boundaries of said city or village, but the failure of any such governing body to authorize said ambulance service to operate within the
limits of said village or city, shall not affect the right of the board of county commissioners to levy the tax as hereinbefore provided.”
Ada County finally came up with a press release about the EMS proposed ordinance at close of business Monday–a mere 17 hours before the Tuesday Commission meeting and two full weeks after the GUARDIAN broke the story.
Fire chiefs are opposed to the authority sought by EMS and we figure it will end up with either a judicial review or at least an opinion from the Idaho Attorney General. It would be foolhardy to pass the ordinance as it is written.
Here is a direct quote from the release and Director Troy Hagen:
“This ambulance-taxing district means we are required, by law to respond to EVERY emergency medical call no matter where it is in Ada County.”
“On the flip side, a 911-ambulance service provided by a Rural Fire Taxing District is limited to the boundary of the district, not to mention the ambulance service could be considered double taxation since property owners within the fire district would pay both the Rural Fire District Tax and taxes levied by the ambulance taxing district.”
The GUARDIAN suggests that if Kuna and Star wish to pay extra for their own service it would save the Ada EMS a lot of manpower and and expense while providing an increased level of service to residents of those fire districts.
The Ada Sheriff is the supreme lawman of the county, but he gladly steps aside for police departments in Boise, Meridian, and Garden City while providing back up when needed. Residents are double taxed, but they get increased service.
Still looks like a turf battle to us.
To insure more advertising-free Boise Guardian news, please consider financial support.