Levy

Idaho Ed News

Idaho’s supplemental levy bill has hit an all-time record this year.

Property taxpayers will shell out $188.8 million in voter-approved supplemental levies in 2016-17 — up from $186.6 million in 2015-16.

The previous high-water mark was $188.1 million in 2013-14, as Idaho schools were digging out from the aftereffects of the Great Recession.

But the rising supplemental levy bill comes after Gov. Butch Otter and the Legislature approved 7.4 percent funding increases for K-12 for the past two successive years.

Perhaps the biggest decision facing Boise voters in Tuesday’s election is not city council or mayoral candidates, but a two-year, $10 million property tax levy for open space protection and water conservation. Unlike a similar levy Boise voters approved in 2001, the latest would not limit purchases to the foothills.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Boise voters will see a familiar proposal on their ballots this fall. Tuesday night the city council unanimously endorsed increasing taxes in exchange for more open space.

If voters decide to back the levy in November, $10 million will go toward conservation projects around Boise. Taxes will go up by $2.39 per $100,000 of taxable value on residential property for the next two years.

Idaho Education News

Idaho school districts are collecting more than $180 million in voter-approved supplemental levies in 2014-15.

This represents almost a 4 percent decrease from 2013-14, when districts collected more than $188 million in supplemental levies. But the dropoff can be explained by reduced levies in three of the state’s largest districts. Across the state, levy elections are more commonplace than ever.

vote, election
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Since July 1, 2007 — and during Butch Otter’s two terms as governor — school districts have backfilled their budgets with more than $1 billion in supplemental property tax levies.

The amount of the levies has steadily grown during Otter’s first eight years in office. So too has districts’ reliance on these short-term voter-approved levies.

jdog90 / Flickr Creative Commons

The Nampa School District will ask voters for an extra $4.3 million in March. The district’s board voted Tuesday night to ask for a one year supplemental levy to help fill its budget hole. The deficit was discovered last summer and blamed on accounting errors.

teamrealtyofidaho.com

The Nampa School District is going into the school year with a $2.8 million shortfall. The reason: an accounting error that had gone undiscovered since last school year. That information comes to light as the district prepares for a $1.6 million levy vote August 28th. The question on many people’s minds is, how will the shortfall announcement influence voters?

baseball.isport.com

The Nampa School District hopes the second time will be the charm. In August the district will ask voters for more money even though a previous attempt failed earlier this year.

This time Nampa schools are asking voters for $1.6 million. Compare that to the $3.58 million request Nampa voters rejected in March. The district thinks that smaller number will be easier to swallow.