City Government

Nampa Homeowners Face $48 Flat Tax Hike

Question: When is a tax not a tax?
Answer: When it comes in the form of a mandatory “fee” from Nampa City Hall.

Mayor Tom Dale has sent a letter to property owners inviting them to attend an April 27 meeting at the Nampa Civic Center to discus a plan to curtail the continued pollution of Indian Creek and other waterways in the city with surface runoff.

We have to applaud the Team Tom effort to comply with the Fed Regs, but their language is worthy of a late night infomercial . In the letter and accompanying brochure, they say that, “Because of our growth as a city we are required by the Clean Water Act to develop a program to manage storm water and decrease pollution.”

The City has also come up with a proposal that will cost a mere “$3 to $4 per month” per residence as an “enterprise fund” to take care of surface runoff. Commercial property will pay based on a complex formula of square feet under a roof or pavement.

What this boils down to is: Nampa surface water pollutes natural waterways in violation of the Federal law. To fix it, homeowners face a minimum mandatory tax that could nudge $50 a year.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Perhaps if the city had imposed proper “Impact Fees” on those new housing developments we all wouldn’t have to pay for Hubble and friends profits (I’m sure Tom Dale received his fair share – in legal “campaign” contributions of course).

  2. Just another great moment in small town politics getting steam rolled by developers. This rentention of runoff has been in the works since the 1980’s. The people we elected weren’t going to be bullied by the big bad federal govt.

    The reality is all the junk and gunk from cars and trucks, and other run off from parking lots is full of anti-freeze, engine oil, transmission oil, yard and driveway runoff full of all manner of chemicals.

    This water eventually finds its way into water used for irrigation of the food we all eat and the water consumed by livestock. Every drop of water we have today probably quenched the thirst of a dinosaur at one point in eons past. We have no new water and what we have needs to be properly managed or none of it will eventually be fit to drink by anyone or anything plant or animal.

    Water will eventually become the lifeblood of our survival more so than oil is today and we need to manage this resource and protect it from vile nasty stuff that is difficult or impossible to remove.

    I understand the need to fund but homeowners are not the only users of water. I would much rather see a surcharge on my income taxes as that hits everyone not just homeowners. The other side of all this is preventing wasteful uses of the money and seeing it evaportate in studies and non-productive things. I can easily envision another COMPASS deal for this effort.

  3. SHUUSH Paul! Don’t be giving these guys any ideas! If we put this in a COMPASS envioronment, we will still be “studying” the problem in 2025 and there will be no action even then. I agree with your assessment. Water will indeed be more important than oil in the future.

  4. The city of Nampa should tell the feds to stick it. If the citizens want to cough up money for this fiasco, then put it up to a vote of the exact homeowners and commercial property owners(not renters) of the target of the annual fee. What exactly are the pollutants? What were the levels of these pollutants in 1990, 2000 and 2010? Cut out the anecdotal stories. Give us the facts.

    EDITOR NOTE–There should be plenty of facts at the public meeting. The announcement cites chemicals from parking lot and street runoff, lawn chems, etc.
    The FREE services of the GUARDIAN are aimed at stimulating the public and the PAID media to do some thinking and gather additional facts.

  5. Hubert Osborne
    Apr 18, 2011, 8:41 am

    All of the newer subdivisions in Nampa as well as new commercial development have retention ponds. Impact fees and loss of land to put houses on raised the prices of these lots and commercial property. Why should those of us who already retain our runoff have to pay twice?

  6. This is not a new growth issue, but an old problem from the days before runoff was a concern. New construction / subdivisions have water retention plans and ponds so that pollutants don’t reach the river. Spending in Nampa (and Canyon County in general) is out of control and has been for some time. I own a little apartment complex near NNU. Our property taxes have increased 140% in the last 5 years with no increase in value (part of this is due to the expansion of the homeowner’s property tax exemption). Our water/sewer/garbage bill (to the City of Nampa) has also increased over 50% In the last two years, Nampa has tried to inpose a new LID for curb & gutter improvements, a new taxing district for the area around NNU, and now this. Because I have a small parking lot, I will be paying 3-4 times that amount. They should tighten their spending habits, not just increase taxes (again).

  7. Hubert Osborne
    Apr 18, 2011, 3:10 pm

    In my conversation this morning with Cheryl Jenkins 468-5478 who is the citys point person I was told in no uncertain terms this was a fee not a tax. Perhaps you legal scholars can enlighten me on why it feels like a tax but it really isn’t and I should feel better

  8. I own multiple rental properties in Nampa… I can not absorb any more increases in “fees”, taxes, levies, bonds, etc. I will pass these fees onto my tenants who already are low income and struggling. Doesn’t Nampa/Canyon county realize that at some point, property owners are are just going to bail altogether? leaving the city with nothing. BTW, in year 2008 I paid $1660 (1.6%) in taxes on one property that was assessed at $103,700. Same property year 2010 was taxed $1042 on an assessed value of $50,400, or 2.0% of value. Although the actual dollar amount is lower, don’t be fooled, that is a 25% increase in taxes! Property owners will be hit hard when assessed values go back up.

    EDITOR NOTE–If it makes you feel any better. Unless you cut the rent in half, your return on asset value just sky rocketed as well. If your tenant was paying $600 a month for a house worth $100,000 and the rent remains the same, he is now getting HALF the value for his money and you are getting TWICE the return on that same value…we understand of course the mortgage remains the same. Just curious, did you lower the rent by the $50 a month you saved on taxes?…if you plan to raise it by the $48 a year water tax, it seems only fair to lower the rent by the $600 you currently save.

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