County Hikes Spending By 11%, No Tax Jump

The Obama administration and the Washington Repubs could use the talents of the Ada Commishes and budget planners when it comes to public spending and taxing within a balanced budget.

Seems that Ada County plans to raise its SPENDING by 11%, but not increase taxes. This after four years of touting the fact they left the 3% maximum allowable budget increase on the table. Even Harry Potter would envy this magic trick!

In a nutshell the county has been holding back expenditures–which we applaud–while not cutting taxes, which we don’t applaud. The result is a stash of cash so they can increase salaries, build a new maximum security jail without seeking voter approval, and finish a pest control building. Some would call that “overtaxing,” while others see it as responsible “pay-as-you-go” budgeting.

As we see it, once wages go up taxes will have to follow in the future. Politically it’s a slick move to increase spending in non-election years. Also they avoid the constitutional mandate to seek voter approval for debt of more than one year. The trick is to collect the debt payments in ADVANCE of the spending.

Click below to read the County version.

Commissioners Forgo General Fund Tax Increase
for Sixth Straight Year
Fiscal Year 2012 Budget to be presented Tuesday, July 26th

On Tuesday, July 26th at 6:00 p.m., the Board of Ada County Commissioners will hold their annual budget hearing where the Ada County Clerk will present the proposed FY2011-12 budget. The hearing will be held at the Ada County Courthouse – 200 W. Front Street, in the Public Hearing Room on the first floor.

Ada County’s proposed FY12 budget totals approx. $193M — an 11% increase over the current year’s $174M budget. Commissioners were able to increase the budget while not increasing taxes in the General Expense Fund by relying on previous year’s budget savings.

The following critical initiatives make up Ada County’s $18.6M budget increase:

$6M to fund an 88 bed jail expansion to house maximum security inmates;
$2.8M to cover critical operating expenses, facilities maintenance initiatives postponed in previous years, and goods and services impacted by inflation;
$2.6M to satisfy increased financial burdens caused by the statutory requirements to cover medical indigent claims;
$2.5M to fund new positions associated with the jail expansion and pay disparity corrections in areas experiencing high turnover;
$1.9M to help close the funding gap on a projected $4M shortfall in the County’s health plans;
$1.7M to provide a 2.5% cost of living increase for employees whose salaries have been frozen for the past three years. This COLA will help off-set health premium increases being passed on to employees;
$1.2M to complete facility construction on the county’s Weed, Pest & Mosquito Abatement facility.

Public Budget Hearing
Tuesday, July 26, 2011 – 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Ada County Courthouse, Public Hearing Room, 1st Floor

The Board of County Commissioners will next set the tentative budget on Monday, August 1st and will publish it in the Idaho Statesman on Monday, August 8th. Commissioners will adopt the final budget on Tuesday, August 16th. Written comments regarding the budget may be submitted to the Board of Ada County Commissioners at 200 W. Front Street, Boise, ID 83702, or by e-mail to [email protected]. Residents may also contact the Commissioners’ Office at (208) 287-7000.

The proposed FY12 Ada County budget is now available at

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Eye on Numbers
    Jul 26, 2011, 9:53 am

    A quick calculation says the hold back money will fund about $10MM of one time expenses this year. Pay increases and health plan increases are another matter. In addition, if they build 88 more beds in the jail how many more people will it take to staff, maintain and run the additional beds?

    Those jail beds come to $68,000.00/each if you divide the beds into the cost. Jail beds come at a very high cost. As a country we have more people in jails and prisons than any other nation on the face of the earth. What is troubling is we keep trying to build our way out of this problem and enacting more and more laws to put people in jails and prisons.

    I am a proponent of alternative sentencing (picture a certain senator out on the freeway picking up trash), legalization of marijuana for medical uses and stopping the use of county jails for mentally ill people.

  2. Or, we could take them out and shoot them! No housing,no feeding,no public defenders, no parole supervision, no drug testing, no repeat offenders!!!

  3. Dear local government leaders: Apparently you are betting on a recovery soon? News Flash! The fundamental reasons why it occurred are still in place and not likely to change. Maybe never. Time to be responsible leaders and make the spending cuts needed to meet the taxpayers ability to pay rather than building a nice cushion under your fat a$$e$. Too many of you are greedy and careless with our future. The federal government is surviving on credit. What you are doing locally is stripping the middle/lower-middle with your increasing taxes and fees and rules. Your failed leadership can only think about how to grow your budget and retirement. I think we need some new levy laws to control you and force cuts. As it is now, you are making most of us a prisoner of debt. FAIL!

    Cyclops, it has been suggested by powerful people like Hillary Clinton that ex-cons be granted special “minority status” so they can claim discrimination. It is no wonder we are a nation in decline with such a huge disconnect between elected/appointed leaders and those who pay for them to play.

  4. At a time when most wages have been cut as much as 20% they need a raise?
    What part of stupidity do they not understand?
    Are they that out of touch?

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