Boise’s City Councilors held the budget hearing last night and it looks like they are awash in cash, thanks to massive growth and a law that allows them to raise the budget 3% per year. With the growth factored in, Boise’s general fund budget will increase 8% for a total of $236,000,000.
They tried to eat up some of the cash by dumping $69,000,000 into the proposed library project which has not bee approved by the citizens, donors or CCDC which have been cited as funding sources
One of the two people who testified against the increases was Bill Goodnight. Here is his take on the budget.
“The budget director pointed out that the City’s almost automatic habit of increasing property taxes the maximum amount allowable by law (3%), plus increased development fees have resulted in embarrassing budget surpluses.
The City will now use more aggressive revenue projections to anticipate overages, budget items in advance to spend them and thereby avoid having to show surpluses while concurrently raising your property taxes.
My interpretation is that the budget is revenue driven, not needs based. The budget goal appears to fill the cookie jar to overflowing and then find ways to spend it.
Budget history and five year projections show the City cosistantly raising property taxes the maximum 3%. Ada County budgeteers, conversely, are reaching back to grab foregone taxes which previous board members declined to levy. We all know we can pay now or pay later, but we sure as hell are going to pay!
The budget presentation and Council comments gleefully pointed out that forgoing the 3% this year would only save the average homeowner $34.
What they didn’t point out is this taxing practice over the past 5 years has cost the average homeowner $170 more in taxes and another $170 in the next 5 years (discounting compounding).
Our city government has demonstrated that they know what’s best and those of you who whine about rising taxes should not waste your time at public hearings.”
See the IDAHO PRESS report by Margaret Carmel for details of the hearing.
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