Two years ago, Boise voters overwhelmingly passed a levy to protect Boise’s clean water and open space. However, due to a clerical error, the paperwork that sets the city’s general fund tax levy each year did not specifically call out the levy, so the levy funds were not properly assessed during 2017. The city is now asking for a clerical amendment to allow it to collect the funds that were not collected. If you love Boise’s quality of life, make sure to put Nov. 7 on your calendar and vote YES!
What is Boise for Clean Water and Open Space?
Idaho Conservation League, Conservation Voters for Idaho, Trust for Public Lands and others are working once again to pass a smart, accountable levy that will help make Boise a better place to live, work and raise a family. We want to protect areas like the Boise River and foothills to create a vibrant and strong future.
Why Is the Levy on the Ballot Again?
In 2015, 74% of Boise voters approved a Boise for Clean Water and Open Space levy for a total of $10 million. Since that time the city has preserved over 400 acres, improved access to open space and improved trails. However, because of a clerical error in paperwork filed with Ada County, the second half of the intended $10 million was not collected in 2017. So this coming Nov. 7, the levy will be back on the ballot to ask voters for a clerical amendment. This amendment will allow for revenue collection in fiscal years 2018 and 2019, rather than fiscal years 2017 and 2018.
What Will It Cost?
The levy will not incur any additional costs over the original amount approved by voters in 2015. It will allow the city to collect the original amount on a later schedule. The levy will raise the remaining balance of $5 million at a cost of $2.05 per $100,000 of taxable value on residential property owners for one year.
What Will I See on the Ballot?
On November 3, 2015, Boise City voters approved a temporary override levy with 74% of the vote to protect clean water and drinking water, wildlife habitat, critical open space, and native plant species, and enhance recreation opportunities and trails through the purchase of property and improvement projects in areas such as the Boise Foothills and the Boise River. Due to a clerical error, the approved levy was not assessed in the first fiscal year. To ensure that the will of the voters is preserved, shall the City of Boise, Idaho be authorized to revise the assessment period of the previously-approved temporary override levy to the two fiscal years beginning October 1, 2017 and ending September 30, 2019? If approved, the final total amount collected through this override levy will remain equal to ten million dollars, as was originally approved by voters in 2015. None of the money will be spent on administrative costs and there will be oversight by a citizens’ advisory committee and annual audit.
0 IN FAVOR OF the temporary levy.
0 AGAINST the temporary levy.
What Is the City Doing to Prevent This from Happening Again?
A series of corrective measures is being implemented to prevent a similar scenario in the future. These include:
- Specific training, review approval and submission procedures for the L-2 (the Idaho Tax Commission form in question) for city staff
- More diligent review of property tax payments into city accounts to ensure amounts are aligned with expectations
- Internal third-party audit of the city’s L-2 filing in advance of submission to Ada County
- Work with Idaho Tax Commission and organization that represent municipalities and taxing districts to make sure the L-2 form is more intuitive for users
I Love Boise, How Can I Help?
Boise for Clean Water and Open Space is looking for volunteers between now and the election. If you can help, please contact Avery Roberts at 208-342-1264.