October 26, 2020
- Kelly Aberasturi
- Trevor Chadwick
- Gheen Christoffersen
- Tom Dale
- John Evans
- Angie Lee
- Jason Pierce
- Robert Simison
- Joe Stear
- Rich Sykes
Staff and Guests
- Bill Larsen - TVP
Gheen and Angie welcomed everyone to Parma.
Interim Property Tax Committee
- The transparency issue, a standardized format for reporting expenditures is still being discussed.
- At this time there a proposal to provide for a total 5% increase year over year. That would include annexation, what we call our 3% now, and new growth. This works for smaller communities that see little or no growth. However, this would leave communities experiencing explosive growth like Kuna, Star, Meridian, etc. in a pretty tough spot.
- Tom mentioned they had this discussion in a recent Association of Counties meeting. He agrees the 5% cap is a 5% cap and includes all revenue sources. A part of the proposal is a base increase that will to be linked to the Consumer Price Increase. His understanding is the CPI increase is averaging about 1.5% per year. This is the basic increase you are allowed. If you do not have any new construction growth, that is all you can do if you don’t have any foregone.
- Tom agreed the cap of 5% doesn’t work for no-growth or slow-growth communities either. Your inflation rate for health insurance and other things are way more than 1%. If all you got is 1.5% and the increase in wages and health care goes up 3%, you will not be able to keep up with costs.
- John mentioned another component involved with tying increases to increases in the CPI. That is, if you want to go above the CPI in your projected budget, you could take it to a vote.
- When you talk with your legislators, do not let them confuse budgets with the impact on the individual taxpayer. John’s analogy is, if you’re going to farm an additional 100 acres, your budget for operations is going to go up but your unit costs will most likely go down.
- Tom has heard this committee has started to talk about allowing school districts to assess impact fees. If you look at your property tax bill, schools will account for at least 30% of your bill. He sees this as an encouraging sign.
- Joe added that there is always the argument out of legislators, that if schools can assess impact fees, they should have to give up bonding. The point is impact fees will reduce bonding amounts to pay for new schools.
- Robert said, in Meridian they are conducting an exercise where they are going back the last 5 years. Their intent is to be able to show how much residential and commercial development they would not have approved if there were a cap.
- John mentioned the internet sales tax fund is up about $30 million. The internet sales tax is building in a tax relief fund and does not go into the normal distribution of sales taxes.
- On a recent Governor’s call, we were informed that in your initial Covid allocation you can use that money for police payroll. Make sure you do your own independent investigation.
- Remainder of Covid allocations can be spent for public safety related expenses. For example, John said in Ada County they have new expenses for Radio’s that have the Motorola encryption.
- In Kuna they had 2 businesses that have taken advantage of the reimbursements for Covid expenses.
- John said there are several legislators that are looking at the power of the health districts. One of the perspectives is that the current law never anticipated an extended exercise of power over months. Tom added that IAC recently discussed this. A lot of this impetus to reign in health districts is driven by misleading information. Health districts only provide direction and guidance, and mandates are only given at the request of the county or jurisdiction. They do not exert power.
- One of the things we are dealing with is conflicting science. A lot of people are looking at the CDC study they did in July where 70% of those that tested positive for Covid wore masks all the time. These conflicting studies are creating a problem where a percentage of the population are pushing back on mask mandates.
- John asked if Parma and Homedale are seeing the growth that the rest of the valley is seeing. Angie indicated they are at capacity with their sewer. They started an upgrade project a couple years ago. They have put it out to bid and the bids came back extremely high and they have rejected the bids. They have restructured their requirements to lower the costs and reissued the bid.
- Gheen indicated they are out of footprint. Nobody wants to annex in. People in Homedale want to keep the town small. The projects they do have in the pipeline are affordable housing. When they are done with that, their sewer will be at capacity. They are looking at this and he has met with DEQ several times and mentioned they are considering going to go back to ponds.
Bill indicated he has not heard from anyone regarding potential conflicts the proposed meeting calendar for 2021. He has proposed moving the Annual Planning Meeting to September. The current plan is to work with the Mountain Home Air Force base to develop a tour for members during the meeting.
Joe moved to approve the minutes and financial statement. Tom seconded the motion. Motion passed unanimously.