August 31, 2020
- Trevor Chadwick
- Gheen Christoffersen (Zoom)
- Tom Dale
- Brad Holton
- Diana Lachiondo
- Lauren McLean
- Garret Nancolas (Zoom)
- Jason Pierce (Zoom)
- Robert Simison
- Joe Stear (Zoom)
- Rich Sykes
Staff and Guests
- Bre Brush, Transportation Advisor, City of Boise
- Kathy Griesmyer, Director of Governmental Affairs, City of Boise
- Bill Larsen - TVP
Mayor Lauren McLean welcomed everyone to the Boise City Council Chambers.
Election of Officers
The following Treasure Valley Partnership officers were elected unanimously.
- President – Mayor John Evans
- Vice President – Mayor Brad Holton
- Secretary/Treasurer – Commissioner Diana Lachiondo
Open Discussion Highlights
School Impact Fees
- Tom heard there is a formalized group that is mobilizing to push the legislature for impact fees for schools. He will investigate this further.
- Would impact fees pay for all of the costs to build new schools? No it wouldn’t. But it would make it possible for schools to be built without having to raise property taxes, or else allow property taxes to go down because a bond expires.
- Previously we have discussed composing a letter from the Partnership to the legislature regarding impact fees. It is agreed this needs to be coupled with a concerted effort of our members to reach out personally, one-on-one with our legislators.
- There are a lot of details related to school district funding. For example, the Boise School District does have new construction issues, but they also have upkeep issues that aren’t related to impact fees. There is still a need for bonding.
- Impact fees are a source of funding for schools that is used in a lot of places around the country.
- If there is no growth, there is no impact fee.
- For AIC, Joe heads a group that is tasked with speaking with Representative Monks and Representative Vander Woude. Representative Vander Woude is talking about increasing the circuit breaker and to lock property taxes in for our senior population.
- Robert said one of the committees he is on has kicked around an idea of a real estate transaction fee to reduce property taxes. The average house is resold once every seven years. You can turn the 100-year life of a school into seven year increments basically.
- Lauren mentioned that ultimately it is up to us to make sure the urban needs are heard. A lot of times things get watered down because they are trying to make a package that fits the entire state.
- Diana mentioned that Assessors are looking at a rolling multi-year average instead of year to year formula. This would smooth a few things out potentially. The downside to it would be, if we have a prolonged recession home values would stay high and homeowners would again be pinched.
- Tom pointed to the shift from commercial to residential. The Canyon County Assessor, Brian Stender, has done some analysis of that. Within the last 5-10 years, in Canyon County, the percentage of property tax paid by homeowners is like 70%. One of the ways to equalize this out is through the homeowner’s exemption. It must be indexed so as values increase the exemption increases. The cap today does not account for this and it ends up putting a bigger burden on homeowners.
Garret said, the trick is having property tax discussion that is going to be good for all 200 cities and all 44 counties. You can’t just have a discussion about the tools (impact fees, circuit breaker, etc.), you have to:
- Have conversations about the exemptions in the tax code.
- Talk about areas that over-lap.
- Talk about local option authority.
- Talk about some funding mechanisms so the State funds the schools at a higher level.
- Talk about the St. Luke’s and St. Al’s of the world. They are no more a nonprofit organization than the man on the moon. They have millions upon millions of properties that we provide services for and they don’t pay a dime in taxes.
- Talk about jails in Counties and how you fund those without going back to property taxes.
- Lauren pointed out, that we say and do will be more visible in the next tax go around. So, when our jurisdiction’s take 0%, the tax bills won’t look the way residents think they might. That will tell the story of shifting property tax burdens between residential and commercial, and other things. This might make it easier to communicate and encourage a long tough look at the tax structure.
- Tom mentioned the Canyon County levy rate is going down 11%. Because of the assessments and shifts, there will still be people that see property tax increases even though the levy rate is going down.
- There was an informal consensus to wait to see what AIC/IAC and the School Board Assn. prepares as a package and then determine what actions the TVP can do individually and collectively.
Diana mentioned we could see a significant decrease in property taxes, if we participated to the nth degree in the Cares Act Tax Relief Program. However, Ada County only put a place holder in, that said they intend to participate depending on additional information from Treasury.
Tom indicated they are doing the same thing. They have opted in to participate, but that money is not in the budget they adopted.
Lauren said they have done the same thing. Their legal team has huge concerns. She does not believe they will get a letter from Treasury.
Garret said they most likely will not take advantage of the program. Their Auditor’s and Legal team have both said no. There are two statements in the Cares Act that say….you have to certify that the money is substantially used for Covid, and…it cannot replace money that is already budgeted in your budget.
Opioid Project Wrap-up
Jodi McCroski, with the City of Boise, has decided to end the TVP Opioid Program and meld the efforts into the work of the State Office of Drug Policy. Bill felt our effort over the last couple of years was well worth it.
As a result of the Treasure Valley Opioid effort, the LEAD (Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion) program took off and he understands the City of Nampa and a City in Northern Idaho are in the process of developing a program.
Additionally, St. Al’s started a Soft Handoff program for folks that come in with an overdose. This program has received funding and Bill understands that St. Luke’s is looking at the program as well. Also, the Idaho Falls Crisis Center has instituted this program.
This year’s SAUSA MOU with the Dept. of Corrections is in process and should be signed in the next couple of weeks. In addition, he has heard that the Eastern Idaho SAUSA Partnership is considering taking another run at the legislature for increasing the State’s share of the SAUSA funding. He will keep everyone apprised on developments.
The minutes and financial report were approved unanimously.