City Government

Debate Topics For Boise Races

While the current topics for conversation and debate in the Boise mayor and council races are focused on housing, homelessness, and the alphabet soup of sexual preferences, the GUARDIAN has come out of retirement with some important topics.

FEES IN LIEU OF TAXES are needed to offset the subsidy Boise taxpayers make toward state government. The mirrored office building at Broadway and the Boise river is owned by BSU and pays no taxes as a state-owned property. HOWEVER the majority of the space is used by for profit PRIVATE business.ccThat spqce should pay fees to the city.

THE HP CAMPUS is now owned by the state of Idaho and pays no taxes. HOWEVER part of it is occupied by HP for private commercial business. That portion should pay fees.

THE COUNCIL DISTRICTS are a good idea, but citizens should be able to vote for ALL candidates while candidates should come from each of the districts–just like the county commishes.

POLICE COMMISSION still needs to be instituted. Citizens have no voice in the biggest budget item in Boise government. Commission would be like, Parks, Airport, Zoning, Library, etc. The Office of Police Accountability (OPA) should be under that civilian authority, not at the whim of the mayor.

FIRE SERVICE is provided for free by Boise to the likes of BSU, but the university pays for police. BSU is like a town of 28,000 that pays no taxes or fees for fire protection. Same is true for state-owned HP campus and capitol mall. HOWEVER the Feds pay Boise for fire protection at VA and federal building. There is no logical consistent policy.

We have tried in vain to bring these issues to the candidates and have been ignored each time.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Generally agree with all except the police commission. I think Boise Police should be a division of the County Sheriff like Eagle, Kuna etc. I don’t find it efficient to bury and protect them under another layer of civilian authority. Put their operation up to direct election every few years.

    EDITOR NOTE–Caeth, you make a good point. Sheriff has total authority within the city already, but cities desiring the EXTRA protection either have their own police force or contract with county sheriffs. The Ada badge has been for sale many years. Boise PD and ACSO used to compete with bids to sell their badge to BSU. Now sheriff does as you suggest in Eagle, Kuna, and Star.

    A side note, Miami-Dade, Lexington, KY, and Las Vegas-Clark County have countywide coppers.

  2. I fully agree that the state should pay to provide emergency services to the Capitol campus. And if the legislature wants to control the roads around the Capitol, they should pay for the roads too.

  3. If ACSO has total authority, is Boise PD just an expensive, bureaucratic redundancy?

    EDITOR NOTE–Caeth, cities see having police as an “enhancement” to the level of service a sheriff can/will provide. City coppers, sheriff, and state troopers have what is known as CONCURRENT jurisdiction in the city. The sheriff and troopers generally do not enforce local ordinances such as bikes, parking, noise etc. For instance ISP covers crashes and some enforcement on the Interstate and Connector within the city by a mutual agreement.

  4. Then does no one enforce City ordinances under the Sheriff’s contract with Eagle, Kuna etc.?

    EDITOR NOTE–The sheriff is paid extra and is contracted to be the local police department. The cities pay for the “enhanced” protection which includes ordinance enforcement and staffing.

  5. Exactly. And why can Boise City not negotiate a similar contract to eliminate some of the expensive bureaucratic redundancy.

  6. The citizens of Boise pay city taxes in addition to their property taxes that go to the Sheriff Dept. The extra taxes partially go to BPD. Mostly the services city residents receive from the Sheriff are Jail services, Civil process serving, driver’s license etc. It could be argued that city residences are receiving less services than County residents because ACSO does not have dedicated Deputies patrol the City . The county receives all the property tax allocation dedicated to the Sheriff’s Dept, but provides no dedicated deputies to respond to routine calls for service, detective investigations, etc.
    On the political side, no Boise mayor would ever give up authority or input into the operations of the police department. Just never going to happen.

    EDITOR NOTE–Police dept. is top coast on city general fund budget, followed by fire. Citizens have no voice in either and we give away much of those services to state of Idaho and BSU.

  7. the bulk of the topic here is about county property taxes.

    The MAYOR has nothing to do with the STATE law that oversee how these political entities don’t pay county taxes. Also true in Pocatello, Twin Falls, and CDA. NOTHING to see here.

    EDITOR NOTE: Roscoe, you miss the point. We think cities, especially Boise, should lobby legislature to provide FEES in lieu of taxes. Forest service pays Boise County fees to compensate for vast USFS land holdings which generate timber and grazing revenues, but pay no taxes. Policy is a hodge hodge with huge demands on Boise taxpayers.

  8. Boise City lobbying anything to the Idaho Legislature is same as talking to a fence post.

    Our legislature effectively hates city of Boise.
    “local government” is nonexistent to this state Republican legislature.

    EDITOR NOTE–We can save some expenses by doing away with the city paid lobbyists. No doubt 20 years of Democratic mayors hasn’t helped the relationship either.

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