City Government

Boise City Gov’t Awash In Cash

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.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. I wonder why in the world would the City of Boise and Ada County hold a budget meeting on the same nights, at the same time? People can’t be in two places at once……I’m sure this is their intent. When no one speaks-they do what they want!

    EDITOR NOTE–Dark Horse, they do what they want even when people do show up.

  2. Gee. So if the City is awash in cash, then it makes perfect sense (not) that City Council recently voted UNANIMOUSLY to raise the rent on City housing by 10%, with an automatic increase each year of 2% or so.

    So much for any of the new Council members being advocates for poor folks.

    EDITOR NOTE–Katie, the new “affordable housing” project in the area of 25th and Fairview is on CITY-OWNED land. That means the private developer will not pay tax on the land portion of his private project. City had leased it (at least a portion) to the rock climbing dog kennel for 50 years if memory serves. Same “lease” deal on the library warehouse now occupied by BioMark. No taxes because the city is the owner of the place. They refuse to put property up for auction because it must go to the high bidder, not necessarily the favored business of the politicos.

  3. Thank you Dave for sharing the $$ figures, Good question on why two hearings on the same night. There was no intent by AC to do so, and I will let Boise weigh in. AC has also had hearings the same time as Meridian. I can suggest a master calendar to avoid conflicts. I know it happened in 2016 when I was campaigning.
    AC has Wednesday nights set aside for regular public hearings, and Tuesday for other hearings. I would estimate 50+ attended the Foregone Hearing.

  4. Ada County Budget meeting is scheduled for July 23 this year. However it has been schedule on the same dates 3 out of the last five years! So this year Boise leaders have scheduled public meetings for the proposed “Master Bieter Glass house on the river”

  5. This is a sad state of affairs. Short of voting them out there must be some better way to hold them accountable.

  6. western guy
    Jul 18, 2018, 5:11 pm

    Bill Goodenight is right on.

  7. Vote them out
    Jul 18, 2018, 6:27 pm

    It would be an amazing and surprising event that the voters would vote out everyone who is in. Just pick anyone else. The mistake people make is considering these people to be ‘like minded’ (Catholic, outdoorsy, real estate knowledgable), and think the councilors are their “friends”, or good people. All that aside, they are not your friends. They are grabbing money from those who cannot afford it as much as they can, and those who can afford it aren’t paying attention. If they were taking care of grass root needs and every single one of them they could not spend all the money. How about their low paid employees – would that help the community to pay a little more at that end? They haven’t even mentioned it. That is why they talk about the big elaborate things like city buildings – they don’t want to acknowledge that there are many, many unmet grass roots type needs that are the city’s responsibility. (or county, or achd)

    Just vote for anyone else. If you are an individual who has a rapport with one of them that is serving your interests, please realize so will the next one. But it will take a while for a new crop of elected to totally screw it up in unison.

  8. So RV = Rick Visser? The same guy that takes 110k per year for his part-time job wants to talk about property taxes? What a joke! Then on top of that gives a speech on this page and at the Foregone Tax hearing about his 92yo mother, yet appeals his own property taxes so as to get a deal from his counterparts. People like this are just shining examples of how our corrupt local government officials do business. Things need to be brought back down to earth for these elitists that use their positions to gain special fare for themselves and their friends. As much as people complain, you would expect change, but that involves outvoting the well-funded special interest politicos.

  9. Big City Liberal Mayor's Club
    Jul 19, 2018, 8:00 pm

    Big City Liberal Mayor’s Club says:

    Bieter, if your city is not bankrupt you are not wasting enough money on useless projects and unneeded employees. You don’t have nearly enough violent crime and homelessness either. Make changes or we will kick you out of the club. Suggest you start by taxing old people out of their homes and make them dependent on welfare.

  10. Voting is no longer enough, you will only be equally heard if you donate and volunteer. Please do vote, but amplify your vote and support the candidates that reflect your values. Incumbents benefit from voter apathy, so they encourage apathy, makes it easier to mobilize their loud minority support base for the desired outcome. If you look at the population versus the electoral margins, less than 10% of the population determines our local “leaders”. (should be local public servants, not leaders, the philosophical difference is huge, sheep need leaders, people should not)

  11. Yossarian_22
    Jul 29, 2018, 5:04 pm

    The biggest problem is that it’s way too easy to get money printed for debt/credit schemes. If a bank could not loan any more money than it could have on deposit (by us, the depositors who EARN the money), then banks could no longer loan $1 for every $10 that they have, which is how it’s done now. This fractional reserve loaning is a direct invitation to inflation and spending behaviors that we witness in government or corporate sectors. When there is an expectation of instant credit, then high prices flourish and budgets explode. Being “credit worthy” is just another way of saying….charge me waaaaay more, please. Politicians just don’t get that, or…maybe they do.

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