County

Guard Your Wallet While Politicos Seek To Pick Your Pockets

Folks, we gotta do something about the way our politicians are after every dollar we have.

The blame can be spread around equally in Idaho between the city, county, and state electeds. We will attempt to offer some insight with the example of the Ada Commisshes plan to use $3 million in “foregone taxes” in order to add a courtroom and buy land for a jail expansion.

Foregone taxes is sorta like raising the limit on your credit card. “We had a $1,000 limit, but only used $500, so now we can spend $1,500!” In the case of foregone taxes, previous county commishes didn’t spend all they were authorized to spend so the current board under Idaho law can charge us for the taxes the previous board refused to levy. The hearing is 6 p.m. Tuesday (tonight) at the court house.

In Idaho the STATE judicial council appoints judges (who also run mostly unopposed after they are on the bench). These STATE judges serve in a Judicial District where the local COUNTIES provide courtrooms and staff to run the court. Because Ada County is growing so fast, we need an additional courtroom…with staff, video and audio accouterments (“furnishings” for you non-library types) and security. Even though the courts are STATE courts, the COUNTY has to pay. This is known as an “unfunded mandate.” Ada Commishes plan to use “foregone taxes to fund the mandate. Thank the Idaho Legislature for that.

In the case of the claimed need for a jail expansion, one of the big reasons we need more beds in the jail is because we have more than 200 inmates that belong in the State Pen in the custody of the Idaho Dept. of Corrections (IDOC). They cost about $90 a day to keep, but the STATE pays the COUNTY only $55. The rate jumps to $75 a day if they remain in the Ada jail more than seven days. Ada residents subsidize the IDOC between $15 and $30 per day. Thank the legislature for that.

Why so many STATE prisoners in the COUNTY jail? Seems that most of them are parole and probation violators. State law says parole and probation violators who are arrested go to the county jail or back to the state pen. No room at the pen, so its off to Ada county. Thank the legislature for that.

IDOC claims they need half a billion dollars for more prison beds. They have cut a deal with Texas that sounds like something from Amazon Prime. Texas charges only $69.95 a day. That’s $5.05 less than they pay local COUNTY jails in Idaho. IDOC wouldn’t need so many new beds if we didn’t have so many first time drug offenders and the additional felons that come with population increases. Thank the legislature for that.

The sad part of this money grab is the politicos can “truthfully” claim they haven’t increased the tax RATE because the value of real estate has jumped so much. Example: 5% of $100 (property value) is $5. But 5% of $200 value is $10…the RATE remained the same, but the revenue doubled!

UPDATE 7/18/18– At the meeting, Commishes kicked the can down the road with a three way split. Jim Tibbs favored using the foregone authority, Rick Visser opposed, and Dave Case was undecided. Republican candidate Sharon Ullman, who beat Case in the primary election appeared and suggested the funds be taken from within budget. That touched off a verbal exchange with Tibbs who said that would not work.

For a legacy media version see IDAHO PRESS.

Comments & Discussion

8 comments for “Guard Your Wallet While Politicos Seek To Pick Your Pockets”

  1. We need to lock up people we are afraid of, not people we are mad at.

  2. Profiting from Prisons
    Jul 17, 2018, 6:07 pm

    Incarceration rates per 100,000 residents…
    Russia – 415
    Iran – 284
    China – 118
    United States of America – 698
    Idaho – 734
    .
    The United States has less than 5 percent of the worlds population, yet imprisons more than half of the global prison population.
    USA has the most prisoners per capita of any country in the world.
    Our prisons operate for profit, so the rich folks hear the cash register ring every time one of us gets tossed in the slammer.
    Prisons are full of people whose drug of choice is not Oligarch approved.

  3. I agree with Erico49. Far too many people tangled up in small stuff who could be productive with the monkey off their back. Like the military industrial complex, the police-court-jail-back to jail system is a very large and very successful business venture.

    Due to my public high school education most of what you wrote in the post is beyond my comprehension so I won’t vote. I’m also like the frog in the pan and will never notice as the heat rises. Totally don’t care so long as I still got my cool new wheels, beer, smokes, and Netflix. Watching one of those reality cop shows tonight… my cousin gets arrested! Wow Cool!!

  4. I am always amazed that some desperate politician, which the sheriff is a member of, always spouts overcrowding. The legacy media picture and the times I have seen the inside of the jail during a visit (Jerome County’s new jail open house) have convinced me that we treat criminals far better than we do our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. Even a trip to the Ada County National Guard Maneuver Area can be a miserable experience and brutal conditions. Remember the military members volunteered, and criminals did their crime thinking they wouldn’t get caught.

    We also need maximum security mental health facilities for about 1/3 of the inmates. Then we can thank the legislature for that!

  5. Concerned Neighbor
    Jul 18, 2018, 8:18 am

    What decreases crime in the USA?
    1. Lock them up. To expensive? Thank the ACLU.
    2. More police (who are allowed to do their job, unlike BPD).
    3. Abortion.

    Yup, #3 cut violent crime by half starting in the 90’s due to legalized abortion starting in the 70’s. Similar gains have been made using other methods to avoid unwanted pregnancies – the best being free birth control and sex ed.

    The solutions are obvious. The will to do so is not.

    Read Freakonomics for more details.

  6. Property tax: 1. No relationship to services received. 2. Little relationship to ability to pay. 3. Expensive to administrate.

  7. Why is the new Ada Crime Map a useless POS? Are they not wanting us to see the crime plane as day like the prior map software displayed? Who would want to hide our crime increases from the public view? Who would tell the TV media crime is less than before? What’s the motive?

    EDITOR NOTE–Apathy, with all the population increase the crime RATE may indeed be lower. However, that flies in the face of the need for more prisons and jails. Crime is on the increase, but not as a percentage of the population.

  8. A neighbor of mine was recently burglarized 3 or 4 times within a winter.

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