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Monday, May 2, 2011

Nampa Auditorium District (NAD), More Waste And Spend

The good people at NAD (Nampa Auditorium District) want to engage in more waste and spend.  We were trying to come up with a brief and to the point post on this issue and our friend Wayne Hoffman says it all in his IPT editorial copied with his permission below.

Auditorium district would hurt private sector options.
By Wayne Hoffman

This month, voters in Nampa and Idaho Falls will be asked to create new government bureaucracies called auditorium districts. Auditorium districts collect taxes of up to 5 percent from hotel guests to fund local convention centers and to market those facilities in an effort to attract more tourists and other out-of-towners.

Supporters of such tax districts contend it’s a win-win-win-win-win-win scenario, because the people paying the tax are folks who, for the most part, don’t live here. They’re asking voters to approve a tax that you’re very likely to never have to pay.

That’s not always the case, and this is not a victimless crime.

The defenders of auditorium district taxes are opting to create a new taxing district and companion government bureaucracy despite less expensive, less intrusive options.

For example, there’s nothing prohibiting local hoteliers, restaurateurs, chambers of commerce and other businesses from using their own resources, individually or collectively, to market the community or their own industries. If they really wanted to, those businesses could do it tomorrow in a way that does not require the creation of a new taxing district.

They are instead opting to use the power of the government to extract wealth from people because they can and because it’s easiest.

In creating a taxing district, the government will collect money that otherwise would be spent in the private sector. This is money that might have gone into the coffers of local restaurants, coffee shops, movie theaters and other establishments. Instead, the money will be used to fund a government program, a government facility and government employees.

Make no mistake that local businesses will be deprived the money collected through an auditorium district tax. Travelers will make decisions on how to spend a finite amount of money; a 5 percent bed tax will give those travelers less money to spend, and they’ll make decisions accordingly.

Local businesses will do without, but the one that won’t do without — the chief beneficiary — will be the newly-created taxing district, which will grow with the size of the tax collections.

This will affect me, too. When I bring guests to town, I will pay the 5 percent hotel tax. That $5 on a $100 hotel room is money that I would spend in the community at local businesses. Instead, that money will go to the government.

Unlike government, I can’t “create” another $5 to go into my coffers. I’ll just have $5 less to go into the economy, $5 less to spend at local businesses or put into payroll. Or maybe I’ll decide to bring one fewer guest to the state. Remember, a good way to discourage an economic activity is to tax it.

Idahoans are constantly being asked to approve one tax or another, with claims that great, great good will come from either the creation of a tax or increase in an existing tax.

There is nothing philanthropic in a government tax scheme that claims money for a government bureaucracy at the expense of the private sector. Regardless of how it is couched, that is exactly what an auditorium district tax will do for the communities of Nampa and Idaho Falls.

(Editor note: Let's not forget the folly of the Idaho Center and the ongoing costs of this monstrocity to the taxpayer's of Nampa to the tune of around $600K this year.)


  1. I don't belive Mr. Dale and company have ever seen a tax or fee they didn't like.

  2. What amazes me is the number of people who have not figured out we are fed up with taxes, fees and assessments and unnecessary spending. This will do nothing but create another govt. agency to spend money for no good purpose.

    The Idaho Center is the perfect picture for this post. It was a fools errand to build it now they want more money to promote a virtually vacant building for venues that come to town for a few days and leave with a bundle of local cash. The Idaho Center does nothing for the city of Nampa except to serve as a monument to bad planning and short sighted thinking.

  3. Have the people promoting this new auditorium district figured out who their customer is? I can honestly say I can't come up with a single one.

  4. What about "Sweetwater Junction" next door to the Idaho Center?
    We can tax all of them thar' tourists, too!

    Welcome to Canyon County! Ya 'all bring lots of money with ya'.

  5. Not to mention that convention centers need hotels to house the out of town convention guests. Oh, but wait they just raised the cost to stay in those hotels, raising the cost for convention attendees, thus decreasing the number of conventions and requiring more money (higher bed tax) to promote the convention center to bring in more conventions. Kind of becomes a downward spiral Catch-22.

  6. This is just another example of waste, fraud and abuse of taxpayers. They can wrap it up anyway they want but it is still theft of taxpayer money.

  7. More people visiting =
    More Tickets NPD can write =
    More money for Uncle Tom.

  8. You can bet that if they don't pass the NAD so that visitors pay the will be finding another tax that will be coming out of your pocket. This isn't a country bumpkin town anymore. I remember when people coming to town for the Snake River Stampede had to stay in Boise because there wasn't any major, big hotel in Nampa. Bringing more money in from tourism seems like a good way to improve our economy without it hurting our own pocketbooks.

  9. Another tax? Nice try anonymous, you can't scare us into passing your precious NAD. Unlike years ago where people had to go to Boise to find a hotel, we actually have several hotels to choose from now. This is the result of private sector growth not tourism. We don't need more taxes no matter who they are directed at. We need government to live within it's means like everyone else as the current economic conditions indicate. The way to stimulate Nampa's economy is to give everyone a break on these sky high taxes.

  10. It's never to late to comment on a Team Tom loss.
    This could be a bellwether to the upcoming city council elections this November. People don't want another tax or higher property tax levys, especially from a city government that can't be trusted. Look at the Press-Tribunes
    back page in the main section. There is some guy that is running for city council on a partisan platform. I don't think that city council candidates or members are supposed to announce a particular political party. What is the deal here?


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