The GUARDIAN created the word “growthophobe,” welcomed new people and businesses if they wished to pay their fair share of taxes and offer good wages. Otherwise relocate elsewhere.
Meanwhile local politico mothers and fathers work overtime to attract more population, cars, trains, planes, and buses through “incentives.” They want those of us who live here to finance their addictive habit.
As budget approval times approach for local governments, tax increases are coming and expansion of everything from schools to roads, coppers, city workers and traffic are imminent.
Those of us who have lived here and revere the lifestyle, weather, and culture of SW Idaho are an endangered species. In a nutshell we are being exploited by outside forces and have to pay the bill so developers and other “birds of prey” can flourish.
We often hear the cry, “We have been discovered and we can’t keep people from moving here!” True, but we shouldn’t have to PAY them to come here. Paylocity posted a testimonial on a chamber of commerce site which is worth noting:
“In Boise’s favor were state incentives like a Workforce Development Training Fund, a reimbursement program to help cover the costs of training and onboarding initiatives, and a Tax Reimbursement Incentive (TRI) of 28 percent for 15 years. TRI is an incentive available to new or existing Idaho companies that create 50 or more high-wage jobs in Idaho. Companies have the ability to receive a reimbursement on their payroll, sales and corporate income taxes up to 30 percent for a maximum of 15 years. TRI is awarded to companies that prove their stability and significant economic impact to the industry, community and state.”
Wouldn’t we ALL like to have a 28 percent tax kickback for 15 years?
To top it off, the land was formerly agricultural cropland. Meridian made it an urban renewal agency and none of the taxes on the multimillion dollar buildings go to schools, ACHD, the city or the county. Sadly, the scenario is repeated over and over.
In the annual budget competition between local governments to see who can offer the most “savings,” Ada County is this year’s winner. The commishes budget includes a $12M cut in property taxes. Don’t hold your breath because future budgets can “clawback” the foregone taxing authority. Just ask the Ada County Highway District.
ACHD is faced with dozens of needed road projects and they are exploring to use that clawback feature to add $7.5 million cash to their bank account. See this BoiseDev piece.
Boise City has approved a $276.2 million budget to include 44 new hires in various departments–because of growth. Officials predict a 29% tax hike.
All these new people and companies need a bigger airport with more flights. Alaska Airlines has a deal with the University of idaho to pay the carrier if their new route to Moscow-Pullman is not profitable. Also, we wonder about the “incentives” offered to airlines for new flight routes. Do they pay landing and gate fees like everyone else?
In summary, when local government works against the will of the citizens thinking they are “creating jobs” and “competing with other cities,” they are destroying our culture and a way of life that has been eroded almost to the point of destruction.
When growth is the number one concern of society it is counter- productive to encourage growth. The politicos have caused the price of housing to climb out of sight and then they strive to build some cheap housing to take care of the problem they themselves created.
They create that which they seek to escape.
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