From the Executive Director: Week of January 20, 2020

21 Jan 2020, by admin Share :

As we enter the 3rd week of the 2020 Legislative Session, one thing is on most legislators’ minds: how to provide meaningful property tax relief to constituents. There are dozens of ideas floating around the Capitol ranging from eliminating new construction to instituting a one year freeze on the property tax portion of non-school taxing district budgets. The form property tax relief will take has yet to be decided. IAC policy staff have been meeting with House and Senate leadership to begin a dialogue on ways to provide property tax relief without negatively impacting the ability of counties to provide mandated services. Legislators are open to ideas. This presents an opportunity for county officials to come to the table and be part of the solution.

Many of you have already reached out to share suggestions on property tax relief. These suggestions include:

  • Authorizing counties to implement a local option tax on items such as lodging, restaurants, alcohol, tobacco, and lottery ticket sales and dedicate a portion of local option tax proceeds to local property tax relief,
  • Raising the homeowner’s exemption and reestablishing the annual index to keep up with rising home values,
  • Broadening eligibility requirements for the property tax reduction program (circuit breaker) to ensure more seniors qualify,
  • Leveraging savings associated with Medicaid expansion for property tax relief,
  • Limiting the amount of forgone property taxes that can be budgeted in any one year (without eliminating overall ability to budget forgone property taxes), and
  • Leveraging funds in the state “tax relief fund” created to receive online sales tax dollars to provide local property tax relief.

Over the next few weeks, the IAC Legislative Committee will vet these and other ideas in an effort to develop a framework that can be presented to the membership for consideration at the upcoming IAC Midwinter Legislative Conference (if you have not registered, it’s not too late, you can do so by clicking here). I want to personally thank those of you who have shared your ideas on property tax relief. If you haven’t shared your ideas and feel you have something to contribute, please reach out to either myself or others on the IAC policy staff to share your ideas. I hope you will take the time to share your ideas with us and come to Boise and attend our upcoming midwinter Legislative Conference. Until then, don’t hesitate to reach out.