The Enemy Among Us Is Growth

Ada County Commishes are set to spend an extra $5.563 MILLION in “foregone tax” levy authority to accommodate the rapid growth.

A public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday July 9 at 6 p.m. at the courthouse. Here is how they plan to use the tax hike on one-time expenses:
1) Design cost associated with a new Ada County Coroner’s Office
2) Design cost associated with a new jail pod for the Ada County Sheriff’s Office
3) Acquisition of real property for expansion of the Ada County Jail and Public Safety facilities
4) A second driver’s license location for the Ada County Sheriff’s Office

Commishes are faced with solving problems (with our money) they helped create by supporting growth–and the Chamber of Commerce. Just on this Boise Valley Economic Partnership webpage alone it becomes painfully obvious that we need to stop spending money advertising and encouraging growth, which increases the need for jails, coroner facilities, schools, roads, and other services.

It is absurd to seek more people in the area, offer the newcomers “incentives,” and then increase taxes–including using foregone revenue authority–to accommodate the growth.

Instead of “give aways,” how about a surcharge on new businesses, developments, and user fees?

Commish Rick Visser opposes the idea, asking citizens to testify agains what he claims is a 5% property tax increase.

Here is a page from the Chamber of Commerce’s Boise Valley Economic Partnership internet page. No wonder we have a shortage of schools, transportation, affordable housing, jails, coroner facilities, etc. !


Tax Reimbursement Incentive (TRI)
Companies creating new, high-wage jobs in Idaho can receive up to a

    30% reimbursement on sales, payroll and corporate income taxes for up to 15 years.

Companies must pay wages above the county average and create at least 50 new jobs in an urban area or 20 new jobs in a rural area.

Idaho Business Advantage
The Idaho Business Advantage incentive package offers an

    array of tax credits, sales-tax rebates, and property tax exemptions.

To be eligible, businesses must invest $500,000 or more in new facilities and create 10 or more new jobs with salaries averaging $40,000 a year with benefits.

Workforce Development Training Fund
We value collective growth. Companies that invest in training a talented team in Idaho are

    eligible to receive funds to develop their employees.

Idaho Opportunity Fund
The Idaho Opportunity Fund

    awards capital to communities seeking improvements to public infrastructure with the goal of attracting or retaining businesses.

This fund is managed by the Director of Idaho Commerce.

3% Investment Tax Credit
Another tool to get the job done. Companies that invest in depreciable, tangible, personal property used in Idaho can earn a

    3% income tax credit to offset up to 50% of tax liability and can carry the credit forward up to 14 years.

Idaho Power Industrial Efficiency Incentives
Idaho Power offers a handful of incentives and resources to support businesses conducting new construction, major renovations, retrofits, custom projects, industrial training and more. See how your business can save energy and money.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Inna Patrick
    Jul 3, 2019, 2:13 pm

    I think these corporate incentives were passed by Idaho legislators. If someone opposes new growth, they should contact their Idaho representative with a print out of this Boise Guardian post, and ask them to roll back the corporate pork.

    EDITOR NOTE–You are correct about legislature enabling, but Caldwell, Nampa, Meridian, and actually to a lesser extent Ada County all work at growing. Growth obviously doesn’t pay its way.

  2. As a small auto repair business in Boise since 2004, I have never received one tax incentive from Boise City or Ada county. What I have received is a tax increase every year. My employees are well paid. I look around Ada County and I see numerous new subdivisions and business development taking place. It would seem too me that the substantial tax revenue generated by all this development would be more than enough to pay for the increased cost of service. Now I understand why that is not so. They get the many tax breaks and we pay the cost. We definitely need a California style proposition 13 tax break here in Idaho.

  3. Are you bitching about the county commissioners or the chamber? The projects listed for the County are seemingly necessary, and as you are aware, the County isn’t driving the bus generating these demands. People die and get arrested, not necessary at the same time, and the County has to deal with the demand.
    So, using the foregone is appropriate. Foregone is created by political grandstanding and not taking the revenue when it is available… only to pass the shortfall onto future boards and councils.

    EDITOR NOTE–The county has offered tax deals, Meridian “attracted” Paylocity with incentives that created an urban renewal district out of a corn field, West Ada has another unfunded burden for school expansion, ACHD and Valley Ride are stretched beyond their limit, but politicos still seek to “increase density.” Most local governments contribute and are members of the private special interest lobby known as the Chamber of Commerce. They all trek to Sun Valley each spring for indoctrination by the BVEP/Chamber at about $1,000 in taxpayer cash per attendee. The point (bitch?) is local politicos encourage growth and then ask the rest of us to pay for it. We noted in the post the money was for one-time expenses.

  4. Rick Visser
    Jul 3, 2019, 5:49 pm

    Dave, I have opposed using forgone taxes since I have been elected, and I oppose using them for the 2020. Cuts can be made in our budget, and taxpayers need a break, not an increase! Using forgone money is simply a way to break the law that caps property tax increases at 3%. Please email the commissioners at and voice your opposition to this tax increase.

  5. Stupid people should not be allowed to vote.
    Jul 3, 2019, 9:03 pm

    The game government and utilities play is to lie to the existing population, most of whom are stupid enough to believe that they need to pay for expansion. However expansion more than pays for itself, and the windfall money is diverted. The stupid people then complain on Facebook about growth related expenses and taxes.

    Media knowingly propagates this lie over and over again because government and utilities are their bread and butter advertisers. Did you ever wonder why a critical service monopoly like IP or Boise City needs such heavy advertising? It’s all to keep the stupid people fluffed up and the money flowing. What’s on Netflix tonight honey?

    PS: Mr. Visser, please list the bottom line yearly spending per capita since you’ve been in office.

  6. I realize that I have been writing pretty much the same thing over and over, but maybe someone out there will actually take this to heart and not vote for Mayor Bieter and his cronies again this year.

    I am eighty-one years of age and have been working since I was fifteen. I saved enough to put my sons through college and then I graduated from BSU by working nights cleaning office buildings and doing open houses for Realtors on weekend afternoons.

    When I retired, I was earning $35,000 per year working for the State and making sure injured workers were paid the correct amount, and I thought that I was rich! I came in early and worked late most days, besides often working on weekends, although I was only allowed to show 40 hours per week on my time sheets.

    Even though I buy clothing, furnishings, etc., in thrift stores and never eat out, I absolutely cannot pay any more in property taxes, which have gone up and up since we were annexed by Boise City.

    The City, County and State have to stop this outrageous spending !!! Has everyone forgotten the meaning of the word FRUGAL? Give us a break or we’ll end up living in caves !!!


  7. “Stupid people…..”. Are you calling people stupid who think growth doesn’t pay for itself? I can’t begin to describe how stupid you have to be to think growth provides “windfalls”. So I won’t try!

  8. Marcel's human
    Jul 6, 2019, 9:31 am

    I have lived in Boise 99.9% (spent a bit of time in SF back in the late 60’s and a few years living in Garden Valley, ID) of my 70 years. My Grandparents lived here, my mother and her siblings grew up and lived here, my kids grew up here, my grandchildren live here. Needless to say that this is no longer the Boise I grew up in. I am retired on Idaho wages,(may have worked if all of those high wage earners from other states aren’t buying out the affordable housing and using them as high priced rentals. Gosh, my property taxes have gone up again. So, I may not be able to live in a building soon. I have never expeted a windfall, but I really thought that I could retire without living in the streets. Not what I expected… not poor enough to get help, not enough to make it without help. Interesting place to be in.

  9. It’s the usual approach. Gifts to the chosen ones. Law enforcement needs more and more upgrades as the numbers grow in urban centers. Unproductive transients that are the identitarian shock troops of the Progressives and their Marxist script writers. Team Dave’s District 17,18&19 voter base, all brainwashed with decades of victimology and socialist teachings. Portland…..straight ahead!

  10. Forced air: Not all democrats living in district 17 agree with Beiter or think growth is a good think or are Marxist or are brainwashed victims. However, I do enjoy visiting Portland.

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