For the past five years Growthophobes have been fed a steady diet of proud proclamations that Idaho is the fastest growing state in the country, #1 place to retire, most bike friendly, etc.
Looks like we are also in the top ten when it comes to spending to put away criminals.
But rather than tax the developers, bankers, mortgage brokers, or new businesses for housing the crooks, Idaho State Government dumps on the local counties by cheating us out of the cost to house the criminals sentenced to the custody of the Idaho Department of Corrections. Instead, the politicos offer tax breaks and advertise in California for folks to “Come To Idaho.”
It costs local counties about $100 per day to lock up offenders in the local slammer. IDOC has come up with a unique proposal to balance the state budget–screw the counties!
Under the current formula, the state pays $55 per day for each inmate for the first seven days and $75 per day for every day thereafter.
“A single daily flat rate is the way to go,” Idaho Department of Correction director Josh Tewalt told the legislative joint appropriation committee last week. IDOC is proposing a single daily rate of $60 for fiscal year 2021 and $65 for fiscal year 2022.
Ada County Sheriff Steve Bartlett called Tewalt’s proposal, “A terrible plan.”
Canyon Sheriff Kieran Donahue said, “If this proposal were to move forward, it would reduce our IDOC reimbursements by approximately 15% per year. That loss of revenue would have to be made up elsewhere, likely in the form of increased property taxes. In short, this proposal is nothing more than an insult to county taxpayers and county sheriffs across the state.”
Instead of offering tax breaks to businesses to relocate in Idaho, it would seem more logical to simply institute an “impact fee” on those newcomers including the developers who profit from all the increased population…and crime.
GROWTH CREATES MORE CRIMINALS AND NEED FOR PRISON BEDS
Most cities and counties in Idaho tell us the crime RATE per capita has gone down. So why the need for more jail and prison cells? Well, the “per capita” may have gone down, but there are more “capitas.” (Example: 10% of 100 is 10. 8% of 200 is 16. A 20% reduction in the rate, but a 60% increase in raw numbers)
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