Tuesday, August 17, 2010
"The property tax portion of our budget is $33 million — $27 million goes to fund the fire and police departments, $2.6 million goes toward the GO bond that built Kings Corner and Garrity Boulevard, $1.6 million goes to keep the library open, and the remaining $1.8 million is split among streets, cemetery, parks, airport, and other departments. The only place left for cuts that would significantly lower the budget is in fire and police levels, and every citizen I’ve talked with finds that unacceptable because they recognize the danger in that step backwards."
Nampa rakes in $33 million in property taxes but what is not mentioned is $3 million siphoned right off the top for Urban Renewal/Nampa Development Corporation to spend as they choose with no voter oversight.
Yes, Nampa will get a sparkling new building for the police department but if they had $3.56 million shifted out of the property tax it would not be necessary to increase the budget by 5%. They would in fact be running a $1.5 million surplus. (Maybe not, upon reflection they would have found ways to spend that money and more.)
Point here is, Urban Renewal is a massive tax shift with 10% of total property tax revenue going to Nampa's urban renewal agency. Caldwell is even worse in their take of property taxes. Caldwell gets $12 million in property tax and UR takes $6 million right off the top. The math here suggests a 50% take right off the top by Caldwell Urban Renewal.
These two cities have cleverly and legally created about a $10 million a year tax shift on all county taxpayers. This money has to be made up with higher levy rates on every county resident to make up for this loss to all taxing entity budgets. Yet they tell us UR is at no cost to taxpayers.
Urban renewal law in Idaho needs a legislative fix and they need it now or property taxes will continue to skyrocket, even in a poor economy and declining home values.
Posted by Paul Alldredge at 9:21 AM