The Mayor of Meridian and all six members of Meridian City Council penned a guest opinion in today’s Idaho Press titled “Legislation Should Not Punish Fiscally Responsible Cities,” and dozens of county officials from across the state wrote another titled, “Ours Voters must see real estate tax breaks at this session, “which both call for a real estate tax break for Idaho homeowners this year, and question the approach approved by an interim legislative body.
“Legislators should work to address this issue, which is causing a shift in the tax base,” the Meridian officials wrote. “There are several legislative ideas that can give homeowners real, meaningful tax breaks. These ideas include adjusting the homeowner’s exemption ceiling, updating the breaker index, or allowing schools to collect impact fees so that growth can help to reduce the loyalty requests of our training partners. “
The county commissioners, with dozens of guest opinions signed by them, including one from Ada County and two from Canyon County, wrote, “It’s not an income tax break that Idahoers are seeking. It’s a property tax break.”
They called for an adjustment in driver license fees, investment in more government funding in public defense and district courts, and district permission to tax local options to offset rising property taxes. and also called for a re-indexing of the homeowner’s exemption from home values, which Idaho did for a decade until lawmakers repealed it in 2016, just as home values rose.
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“County commissioners are the boots on the ground,” wrote the commissioners. We are homeowners too. We strive to balance our counties’ financial needs with property tax breaks that many Idahoers desperately need. Please help us achieve significant property tax relief while ensuring adequate funding for the many services that the districts are responsible for providing. “
You can read the full City Officials article here (subscription required), read the full County Commissioners article here, or pick up today’s Sunday / Monday print version of Idaho Press.
Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise Chief Executive and State Capital Reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.