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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Idaho Center, The Mill Stone Around Nampa Taxpayers Neck

Ever since the tone deaf opening of the Idaho Center in 1996 with the lousy acoustics and the Moody Blues the Idaho Center has been bleeding Nampa Taxpayers for more and more money each year for the last 15 years.

 We learn today Mayor Tom in Nampa has been feeding money left from the first ill fated Urban Renewal district that built this massive drain on taxpayers back in 1996.  Yup.. all the money left over from the first urban renewal agency as well as the money allocated from the city general fund isn't enough to keep the place afloat.  The place is screaming for yet more money from taxpayers.

The Idaho Center has been open for 15 long years and to date nobody has been able to figure out how to keep the place open and paying its own way.  Venues using the Idaho Center come to town and rent the place for a couple of days, sell a bunch of tickets and leave town with all the cash.  Team Tom would try to tell us all that it is a "cost of building community" for the city to underwrite losses each year is a reasonable cost.

The price of poker at the Idaho Center just went up to a cool million a year.  This is the latest request from the private company managing the place.  Mayor Tom and his Team at city hall will try to spin this as a bargain for the citizens of Nampa.  Now they are looking at charging for; parking,  school use for graduation ceremonies (bet they retreat to the school gym before they fork over any cash), a surcharge on tickets for parking and on and on.

Bottom line is the place never should have been built and wouldn't have if it had been put up for a vote of the people.  They slid this in with no vote by way of Urban Renewal.  No voting, no oversight and now a huge annual debt hung on the backs of Nampa taxpayers.


  1. Paul,

    The reserve fund (now depleted) was something like 4.5 mil.

    I begged the NNUR board to develop an exit strategy years ago in order to avoid this exact scenario.

    How can we focus voter attention on these historic losses between now and election time?

    Next year's budget discussions a Nampa City Hall should be interesting to say the least.

    Any justification for the Idaho Center has always been a "community benefit" analysis argument.

    As a business model, the Idaho Center has always caused an upward shift in monetary distribution, further stratifying and widening the gap between taxpayers and any benefit to them.

    My analogy of such a business plan is like "pooring gasoline all over your car and hoping it soaks in somewhere". This trickle down monetary theory never played well with me in the first place.

  2. Interesting choice of words, "slid this in..."

  3. I am thinking about SAM's CLUB and how it looks these days... When they actually run out of money and people get fed up with this albatross they ought to just close the doors and mothball the facility. They could open it up for the Stampede and then shut it down until the next rodeo season.

    The Idaho Center ought to demonstrate to all eager-beaver politicians, if you build it the might not come and then what? Hemorrhaging money at the rate this facility is chewing through cash is just unacceptable.

  4. It apparently is in fact acceptable because we keep electing bozos like Tom Dale and Garret Nancolas. These guys must have regular planning sessions regarding how to shaft the taxpayers for their next pork barrel project.

  5. I would like to see a big for sale sign posted in front of that thing, but be careful who you choose as the commercial broker.

  6. The Idaho Center is but one of the many projects that have been built over the years which where forced through in one way or the other. The first that comes to mind is the city hall and civic center I believe they were voted down once or twice , the golf course was voted down at least twice, The Idaho Center was built with " Urban Renewal" money so it didn't really cost anything and now we have TajMa Dale going up in downtown Nampa thats being built with free money. We have a crosswalk on 11th AV. north that we paid $180,000 for and who knows how much money has been spent in backroom deals and to support the Idaho Center .As our property values continue to drop and business' close I have to wonder how much of this prosperity we can survive.

  7. Editor note on the above comment..

    Urban Renewal is property taxes, it is not free cash from some magical source. Nampa property owners inside and out of the boundaries of the urban renewal district paid for the Idaho Center. We have heard all manner of numbers with the highest at around $80 million. The same goes for the new police is property taxes shifted to be used at the pleasure of the urban renewal board in Nampa. The taxes have to be made up and it results in higher levy rates for all Nampa property owners.

  8. You know, I never hear from the tea party on these issues. The tea party was just the first step in our founding. When is the next step of organized resistance, against this culture of corruption going to happen? These local leaders are just stomping on the middle class people around here to much. Rise up.

  9. The Tea Party is nothing more than a pack of jack booted thugs! The next Nazi Party. I don't trust those morons either.

  10. If the Idaho Center operated like a business it would have shut its doors long ago. It operates as a tax free entity, paid for by taxpayers, supplemented annually with more taxpayer dollars. It should shut down and stop this nonsense. They haven't figured out how to operate at a profit in 15 years, the probability of ever operating at a break even point look pretty dim.

    Declare it a success and close the doors.

  11. Wow, somebody needs to do research about the tea party. The original tea party was against the culture of corruption of the day. Todays tea party idea needs to take the next step, which is organized resistance against the culture of corruption that is stomping on the middle class here in Nampa. The jackboots are in City Hall and elsewhere here in town. One has to remember that the Idaho Center was built without the consent FROM the people, that's why it is wrong.

  12. The Tea Party, just like every other political movement, has enjoyed a few successes and now wants to repaint the world and force it's views down everyone's throat. Back off the extremist views and move more to the center and you might get a few more supporters.

  13. In reply to anonymous . Moving to the center is what has caused a lot of the problems we have today. The differance between a politician and a statesman is simple The politician does what is popular right or wrong. The statesman does what is right without regard to what the cost to his political career may be. Ah yes compromise ,surrender on the installment plan.

  14. The tea party movement is embarrassing in the fact they want to take on the Federal Level, but ignore completely the local level. The Idaho Center should never have been built. Well okay not where it currently sits. Sure there are a very few businesses around there and a struggling Community College, but if you wanted a venue there wouldn't you want better restaurants and more hotel accommodations, etc. Not user friendly that's for sure.

  15. And, do not forget this fact about Tom Dale and John Bujak:

    After Bujak's sweetheart deal with Tom Dale, misdemeanor prosecutions shot up 36 percent in the first year!!!

    This is the most corrupt "tax" yet. And yet another failed attempt to pass the $70 Million jail bond (yet another attempted scam on taxpayers)!!!!


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