A few weeks ago, we had a chance to interview ACHD Commissioner Kent Goldthorpe. In that interview, the commissioner revealed that the county is about 15 years behind in road development and infrastructure.
The need to raise taxes is overwhelming; residents will have to choose between congestion and raising property taxes. One of the primary reasons for the increase is that ACHD will have to fund the highway 16 project that was approved. The commission will have to support all the on and off-ramps, plus a few other curve balls to the tune of around 34 million dollars.
It's not just the highway 16 project, cities throughout Ada County are building more homes and business that will need additional roads, intersections and roundabouts. It does seem odd that the state would not fund the highway 16 project considering the record budget surplus this year.
The state will not fund those accessories, leaving the county with the responsibility of supporting them. As Commissioner Goldthorpe disclosed to us a few weeks ago, the public is invited to voice their opinions on raising your property taxes every Wednesday in July.
You can hear Commissioner Goldthorpe's comments by searching for our interview in the podcast section.
The Ada County Republicans are urging all taxpayers in Ada County to tell ACHD not to raise your taxes. Here is their Facebook Post on the issue.:
WE HAVE AN URGENT CALL TO ACTION. THE ADA COUNTY HIGHWAY DISTRICT IS PROPOSING PROPERTY TAX INCREASES OF 24% IN ITS 2021/2022 FISCAL YEAR BUDGET! Yes, 24%!!!
Ada County taxpayers, through property taxes, pay about one-third of the total ACHD budget. The ACHD budget, in turn, represents about 6%-8% of total property taxes.
The 2021-2022 proposed ACHD budget is $155.8 million dollars. Of this, ACHD is proposing to collect $52.6 million from property taxes. Here’s the issue: that would be a 24% increase from $42.5 million collected in last year!
Property taxes was one of THE BIGGEST ISSUES in the 2021 legislative session. HB389 was passed to deal specifically with property taxes, intending to cap taxing authority increases at 8%. ACHD staff, using a loophole, wants to raise property taxes 24%. This is totally unacceptable. The Highway Commissioners are elected. Three are Republicans. We can stop this.
Here’s the most amazing thing. Of the proposed $14.6 million increase in the ENTIRE ACHD budget (to $158.5 million in 21/22 from $143.8 million in 20/21), almost 70% ($10.1 million) of the incremental funding would come from increased property taxes!! That’s a big burden for property owners coming out of a tough year. And the legislature passed HB312, which allocated $1.3 million new dollars to ACHD. That’s taxpayer money too. They already got theirs!
Commissioner Mary May provided a statement: “The ability to tax is one of the most serious powers an elected official has and the needs of the District must always be carefully balanced against the needs of the people. In my view, a 24% property tax increase is egregious, especially when so many are experiencing financial hardship.” Thank you, Commissioner May. That is Republican thinking. That is Idaho thinking.
A 24% property tax increase – 70% of the budget increase paid on the backs of property owners – in a year where the entire state is howling about property taxes – in the midst of an economic recovery. This is one of THE MOST TONE-DEAF proposals we have ever seen.
Fortunately, Ada County Republicans can do something about this. Republicans have a majority of the seats (3 of 5) on ACHD. And we encourage the following three CALLS TO ACTION:
1: ATTEND the Wednesday July 21, 2021 ACHD meeting at 3775 Adams Street in Garden City starting at Noon in the Auditorium. At the end of the meeting, ACHD will be discussing the staff’s recommendation for the upcoming 2022 budget.
2: WRITE LETTERS to ACHD. Public comment ends on July 29, 2021 – so we have only 10 days to let the ACHD know our thoughts. To submit comments to all the Commissioners at once, use http://achdidaho.org/aboutachd/contactus.aspx
To reach your Republican ACHD Commissioners use these email addresses.
Republican District 3 Commissioner Mary May: firstname.lastname@example.org
Republican District 4 Commissioner Kent Goldthorpe: email@example.com
Republican District 5 Commissioner Dave McKinney: firstname.lastname@example.org
3: CALL! Call ACHD and leave messages for ACHD President Kent Goldthorpe, District 3 Commissioner Mary May and District 5 Commissioner Dave McKinney and let them know how that Republicans are not for tax increase – especially not 24% increases!! Republican Commissioners can make the difference!
If you want to put a call into ACHD please call (208)-387-6110 – Stacey Spencer is the ACHD Commission Secretary. She will give your messages directly to the Commissioners.
Ada County GOP
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