No End To Local Tax And Budget Hikes

As the budget season reaches full swing it is downright frightening how local officials are conditioning folks for tax and budget hikes. It is also a bit frightening how glibly the legacy media offers reports like this one from the Idaho Press and Idaho Statesman regarding the proposed new Boise Library:

“On top of the city funding, the project is proposed to be funded with donations, debt and urban renewal revenue.”

To his credit, the Statesman’s Sven Berg noted the available parking spaces will be reduced from about 100 to 50 after the expansion.  Team Dave eliminated any chance of expansion when they leased the city-owned warehouse space behind d the library to a tech company making chips to track migrating fish.

Any debt in excess of a single year’s revenues has to be approved by two-thirds of the voters. Logically that approval should come BEFORE city councilors approve the $85 million project. They also have had no appropriation from the CCDC urban renewal agency. The GUARDIAN finds it a questionable practice to spend hundreds of thousands for design on such a vague funding formula.

The same vagueness has been used for the proposed ball park on Americana near the Boise River. In that scheme they often cite the Greater Boise Auditorium District as a source of funds along with annual budget appropriations from Boise City. GBAD has not even considered any spending and annual city funding would be non-binding and very risky. Boise State also just announced plans to build a baseball field on campus after a previously floated joint use dream evaporated.

Other recent attempts to get their hands in our pockets come from ACHD which wants to increase vehicle registrations for autos, but NOT go after the trucks that tear up our streets. Anything over 8,000 lbs is exempt. They are bound by a state law which applies only to ACHD and was lobbied on behalf of ACHD.

The Ada Sheriff wants more staff for the jail. The jail is big business on behalf of the feds and State Dept. of Corrections. The previous jail expansion, funded in part with a federal grant, needs to be staffed. Boise is looking for more coppers, and fees for everything from water to trash are set for increases.

AND… it can mostly be chalked up to this “fabulous growth” that is encouraged by state and local “economic development and tax incentive” efforts. The median price for a house in San Francisco’s Bay area is right at $1 million and in Ada it is just over $300,000. Those techie folks (from Cali and Seattle) are cashing in their equity and moving to Idaho in droves where they can buy three homes and have leftover cash. All we have to do is pay their way.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Richard Evensen
    Jun 26, 2018, 10:33 pm

    The proposed library should be called Bieter’s Pyramid.(As in Cheop’s pyramid)
    It is a ridiculously extravagant waste of money. The internet has made libraries superfluous to needs of most folks who will end up paying the taxes to support this monstrosity. The present downtown library has become a homeless person respite center and a day care option for frazzled North end moms. They can drop the little darlings off for a few hours of story telling while they get the exact ingredients needed for the latest Cuban polenta recipe from latest Bon Appétit. Oh, and do not forget the gluten free garlic bread.

  2. You mean Library!

    We need a world-class Library! downtown, just like we need a world-class Bike-Skills Amusement Park! in Boise’s first open-space reserve a 1/4-mile from downtown!

    Meanwhile, Boise’s underserved neighborhoods cry out for branch libraries and neighborhood bike parks. Not to mention sidewalks, affordable housing, transportation, etc….

  3. Brian Vermillion
    Jun 27, 2018, 1:27 am

    All true but 99% of people quit reading this story after the first two lines.People don’t care unless it impacts their ability to watch “Dancing with the Stars”.

  4. In a previous post on the ACHD request, Sara Baker commented that state law prohibits charging trucks. And “we follow the law.” She conveniently neglected to mention that ACHD lobbied for that law. When I suggested that they get it changed, I had no clue that they LIKE it that way. That’s pretty lame.

  5. Part, if not all, of the rising taxes can be explained rather simply. In order to keep us dumb and happy, the government has been lying to us about the real state of the economy.

    John Williams of Shadow Government Statistics (SGS) calculates and reports economic metrics the “old fashioned” way. SGS is the go to website for any organization that needs real data, and not the cheery fabrications pushed by the corporate “fake news” outlets and our lying government.

    The real rate of inflation is now over 6% according to SGS.

  6. Slightly off topic but not too far. Came across this in today’s Statesman regarding the Greenbelt that runs from Shakespeare Way to Diversion Dam – “The majority of the 1.65-mile segment has been damaged, McGwire said. The county still is assessing how the repairs should be made and who will foot the bill, she said. The original project, which included piping the Penitentiary Canal, widening the often-narrow, painfully bumpy path to 11 feet and constructing “recovery shoulders,” cost more than $2 million.” Excuse me – a million bucks plus per mile!!! Good grief. This has me curious what the soon to be started Leadville Bikeway project [] budget is.

    Full disclosure – I am an avid cyclist residing in SE Boise who logs a few thousand miles a year the majority being on the roadway, Leadville included.

  7. We should all be concerned of the wasteful spending by our local elected politicians! I don’t even associate them with the word officials. We have witnessed in the last days how spineless local politicians are as to have civil servants and local media inform their constituents of their WASTEFUL “transparent” spending. It isn’t OK to spend millions of dollars on projects THAT ARE NOT NEEDED. Are Dave Bieter and city council members TESTING THE WATER? Probably. It seems like the local TV media NEVER discusses the other side! Why? As reporters THEY know there are Two sides to every story! They learn that in school?

    In the last years Dave Bieter has spent over $2 million for the City Hall entrance to be an “open space”, while infilling across the street? Dave has spent close to $5 million on a “STUDY” for a downtown streetcar? While touting Boise’s WALK-ABLE DOWNTOWN CORE And now wants to spend $85 million? PLUS on a library/arts/ meeting room facility. The Internet is a better reason not to build an $85 million library than the treasure valley’s Growth is to build one! Doesn’t the new convention center have meeting rooms? Isn’t there an Art history facility across the street from the existing library?

    Dave Bieter’s actions support him trying to one up BSU’s new Fine Art Facility while taking care of commitments he made to the out of state developers at the expense of his constituents! TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION

  8. And of course since the government is so good at guesstimating costs, this Library! with no parking, should cost $100M.

  9. If libraries are truly superfluous, as claimed, then please tell me why Nampa’s Library and the Twin Falls Library are both seeing large numbers of patrons coming into their facilities. Their are not just there for the summer reading programs and I have not seen any homeless people there.

    EDITOR NOTE–Libraries are a valuable contribution to the collective good for a community. In Nampa the urban renewal agency was used to fund the library. That violates the intent of urban renewal which was to stimulate the economy by encouraging commercial development which pays taxes. Public works projects like libraries and police stations NEVER pay taxes and should be approved by voters. Nampa specifically avoided the voter approval route.

  10. I strongly disagree with the contention that libraries have become irrelevant in the digital age. Librarians, including Boise’s, have been way ahead on this. They provide Internet access and education to many folks of all ages who otherwise would have no access.

    If you don’t think so, you haven’t visited your library lately; they are hubs of activity. And books ARE still relevant and increasingly available digitally, online and in print through your local library. We need these true, present-day centers of learning in every neighborhood.

    EDITOR NOTE–We second that motion and heartily endorse the various neighborhood and store front libraries built with no tax hike or debt. We don’t even object to a new downtown library, but deeply resent the sales pitch, hiring the “world class” architect, eliminating the warehouse land already owned by the city, and use of CCDC funds for public works projects which should have voter approval.

  11. chicago sam
    Jun 27, 2018, 1:14 pm

    You think Boise is bad?
    We have just discovered that the Nampa Wastewater gurus have spent $39 million on phosphorous removal upgrades and slammed a $165 million bond thru for more ” improvements ” for P, temperature and other upgrades when our water doesn’t even go into the Boise River. Our wastewater is diverted onto farmland thru the Riverside Canal at Caldwell.
    Diversion onto crop land where the crops filter out the Phosphorous is an IDEQ and EPA acceptable way to clean up the water

  12. A good number of those going to the library go there to use the computers to access the net.

  13. Sam:
    Boise Good!

    Several city “leaders'” use-by dates have expired, beginning to stink.

    Something rotten at City Hall.

  14. Nothing but ridiculous spending in Boise. Bieter gets what Bieter wants regardless of public opinion. Seems like nobody has any interest in unseating him as there has been either nobody running against him or someone who comes in last minute and runs a half-assed campaign (Judy Peavey-Derr).

    But Bieter is at least just self-involved. You could have someone like Rick Visser that appeals his property taxes and then demands a hearing before the board that he sits on to ensure that everyone else has to pay his fair share.

  15. It’s time to start recruiting candidates to replace those whose wear dates have expired—Bieter & Clegg, for sure. They’ve been there 14 years!

    EDITOR NOTE–We have figured for years Clegg will be next candidate for mayor unless Maryanne Jordan decides to up her PERSI with four years in the Mayor’s chair instead of the Idaho Senate.

  16. Kudos to The Guardian! Great article!

  17. Clegg’s tired.

    I think Ms. McClean is lining up, if she doesn’t get burned by continuing, as Council Prez, the mayor’s tactics of evading open, transparent, public processes.

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