It’s about as interesting as watching paint dry, but somebody has to discuss taxes.
Any way you cut it, local property tax bills are likely to go up this year in Ada County. First off, the ASSESSED VALUE of most property has increased. That figure is used as the basis by cities, the county, ACHD, schools, etc. to come up with a percentage LEVY to determine the the rate needed to cover their respective budgets–all within limits mandated by state law. When they get done, you get a TAX BILL.
While Boise City Councilors routinely run up their budget the maximum 3% plus new construction value, Ada County and the Highway District (ACHD) have made it a corner post of their budget presentations to “forgo” the allowed 3% hike.
Former and current Ada Commishes declined the allowable hike for 7 years. However, the old guard hired 42 new employees without higher taxes…they spent one time revenues and reserve funds to pay operating expenses, according to Chairman Jim Tibbs and County Auditor Chris Rich. Both predict a tax hike is imminent.
And now it’s time to pay the piper. Faced with faulty jail equipment and an outdated 911 dispatch center, the Commishes have included the 3% annual hike, about 3% for new construction values, and–this is the big one–they are doing a “clawback” into the “forgone revenues fund.”
Huh? Turns out even though the politicos crow about not taxing as much as they had the authority to tax in a given year, they (or the next elected politico) can dip into those previous year’s AUTHORIZED amounts as though it were a savings account.
Politicos don’t like the analogy, but it is like qualifying for a $200,000 home loan, but only paying $100,000 and claiming you have an extra $100,000 to spend.
We find it absurd that the law allows elected officials to claim to be fiscal conservatives one year, only to go back and spend the money they “saved” in previous years.
There will be a budget hearing 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 21 at the courthouse.
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