From the Executive Director: Week of January 23, 2023

Property Taxes, Property Taxes, Property Taxes Everyone in the Capitol is talking about property taxes, leading to a sense of urgency to finally address rising property taxes. While in previous years budget caps have been the primary means of attempting to control rising property taxes, legislators this year appear to be focusing on more targeted means of bringing down property taxes. Last week I mentioned potential legislation to expand the circuit breaker program to all owner-occupied property by leveraging sales taxes…

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Boise State Releases 2023 Annual Public Policy Survey

Last week, Boise State University released the 2023 Idaho Public Policy Survey. This statewide annual survey focuses on various issues of particular importance to counties, including Taxes and Budget, Growth Housing & Economics, and Crime. The survey includes a dashboard that allows for a deeper dive into the data, including regionally capturing the data. Some key findings include growth and property taxes continuing to be significant concerns for most Idahoans. Fifty-six percent of Idahoans surveyed believe that property taxes are too…

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IAC Legislative Committee Meets in Person for the First Time in 2023

IAC’s Legislative Committee held their first in-person meeting of 2023 this week in Downtown Boise. Members who couldn’t attend in person participated remotely. Property tax relief remains a focus of the 2023 legislative session and a priority for Idaho’s counties. “We have a hardworking committee with clear legislative priorities,” said Twin Falls County Commissioner Don Hall who chairs the Legislative Committee. “Today’s meeting was productive, and we are looking forward to participating in the session with a united front.” See photos…

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From the Executive Director: Week of January 16, 2023

Legislative Session Off to Slow Start The 2023 Legislative Session is off to a slow start. This shouldn’t be a surprise given the massive turnover, changes in committee chairs, and changes in leadership. To date, only six legislative bills have been introduced. The Legislature has also been slow to take up rules while committees like House Revenue and Taxation have chosen to begin the session with learning sessions, hearing from stakeholders to better understand their responsibilities. As the session kicks off,…

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What to Watch: Week of January 16

This Friday, the IAC Policy Staff will be kicking off our weekly IAC Legislative Policy Updates. This meeting is for county elected officials only. We will meet via Zoom at 10 a.m. PST / 11 a.m. MST. Expect an update on the 2023 IAC Legislative Package, including priorities and policies. We also plan to provide the latest information we are hearing regarding property taxes. If you want to stay in the know about county legislative issues, this is your weekly opportunity…

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Idaho Broadband Fund Grants

On January 11, 2023, the Idaho Broadband Advisory Board made a motion to organize project submissions based on the 4 elements identified below. Applicants now have the opportunity to clarify this information within their proposal if it is not already clearly stated. Information is being requested based on the Board’s motion to better understand and clarify project proposals. Participation in this opportunity to clarify is not required for a previously submitted proposal to be considered for funding. The Idaho Department of…

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Gov. Little Proposes $120M in Property Tax Relief During State of the State

Governor Brad Little gave his annual State of the State address to a joint session of the Idaho Legislature. During the speech, the Governor rolled out the “Idaho First” plan. The plan includes support for schools, property tax relief, and a new strategy to fight fentanyl. Property tax relief and continued investments in transportation infrastructure are key components in the Idaho First plan. “The Tax Foundation ranks states on their business tax climate,” Governor Little explained. “It is a useful barometer…

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From the Executive Director: Week of January 9, 2023

Legislature Convenes with a Focus on Property Taxes As the 67th Idaho Legislature convenes in Boise, property tax relief will quickly come into focus. Some legislators, like Representative Bruce Skaug (Dist. 10, Canyon and Ada Counties) and Senator Scott Grow (Dist. 14, Ada and Gem Counties) have been working with county officials on solutions to provide real property tax relief. Representative Skaug has drafted a bill which increases the homestead exemption from $125,000 to $225,000 and reinstates the annual index which…

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New FCC Broadband Map: Submit Accuracy Challenges Today

If you have been tracking broadband at the federal level, you may have heard that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently released the latest Broadband mapping. With that release comes the opportunity for Idahoans to increase the accuracy of the map. Accuracy is critical because the map will aid in determining the allocation of the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program. Now is the time to challenge available data to ensure the map accurately reflects the state of broadband here…

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2022 ISA & IJAA Annual Conference Recap

The Idaho Sheriffs Association (ISA) and the Idaho Jail Administrators Association (IJAA) gathered at the Riverside Hotel this December for the 2022 ISA & IJAA Annual Conference. The three-day event, held from December 13 – 15, featured opening remarks from Governor Brad Little, as well as presentations from keynote speakers on leadership, concerns of police survivors, trauma, burnout, resilience, and more. ISA and IJAA members also attended additional trainings, met in legislative and operations committees, and conducted their respective business meetings….

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IAC Launches New Mentorship Program for Idaho’s County Elected Officials

IAC is excited to announce the launch of its new mentorship program designed as a resource for Idaho’s county elected officials. The IAC Mentoring Program is a one-year commitment that offers the opportunity to develop a mentoring relationship between experienced county elected officials (mentors) and newly elected officials (mentees). County government is complex, and newly elected officials have often referred to their first year as “drinking from a fire hose.” As part of IAC’s mission to provide education and training to…

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2022 Fall County Officials Institute Recap

The 2022 Fall County Officials Institute (COI) has wrapped just in time for newly elected county officials to take office and for the legislative session to begin. The training spanned two days this year and was held in three locations around the state from November to December. The training, facilitated by the Idaho Association of Counties (IAC) and the Idaho Counties Risk Management Program (ICRMP), was especially crucial this year as Idaho will have many new county officials after this year’s…

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Idaho County Clerk Travels to Illinois for Fall NACo Board Meeting

By Kathy Ackerman, Idaho County Clerk The Fall National Association of Counties (NACo) Board Meeting and Large Urban County Caucus (LUCC) Symposium was held just outside of Chicago from December 1-3. Since there are no counties in Idaho large enough to be included in LUCC, it is important for Idaho to be represented on the national front. It’s also beneficial for rural Idaho to understand and appreciate the challenges to governance that exist in large urban centers that can vary drastically…

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IACA 2022 Fall Meeting Recap

The Idaho Association of County Assessors (IACA) met in Boise on November 29 for their Fall Meeting. Over thirty county assessors attended the event, which focuses on yearly updates and training. IACA President Custer County Assessor Jacquel Bruno conducted the meeting. The association welcomed many newly elected county assessors during the meeting. IACA officers also paid tribute to the assessors who are retiring this year. The officers expressed appreciation for the mentoring and friendships that have occurred over the years as…

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2022 Fall County Officials Institute Kicks Off in Moscow

From left to right: Nez Perce Assessor Dan Anderson,Benewah Treasurer Sara Sexton, Nez Perce Clerk Patty Weeks, and Clearwater Coroner and Commissioner-elect Rick MillerICRMP Risk Management Specialist Jim McNall presenting on the Roles & Responsibilities of the Board of County Commissioners. County elected officials from across the panhandle gathered for a two-day training on sound county governance principles this November. The Idaho Association of Counties (IAC) and ICRMP worked together to provide the 2022 Fall County Officials Institute (COI) in Moscow,…

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Idaho Leaders Travel to Lewis Clark Valley to Participate in North Idaho Legislative Tour

IAC policy staff Sara Westbrook and Kelli Brassfield on the North Idaho Legislative Tour.IAC staff receiving a tour of the Idaho Forest Group. The Idaho Association of Counties (IAC) policy team recently participated in the North Idaho Legislative Tour hosted by the Lewis Clark Valley Chamber of Commerce. This biennial tour is the unofficial kick-off to the next session of the Idaho Legislature. The tour offers North Idaho people, businesses, higher education institutions, and more an opportunity to highlight the natural…

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Valley County Commissioner Co-Chairs National Housing Task Force

Valley County Commissioner Sherry Maupin participating in NACo’s first Housing Task Force meeting in November.NACo President Denise Winfrey and additional task-force members participating at first meeting. Valley County, Idaho — Valley County Commissioner Sherry Maupin will co-chair the newly formed National Association of Counties (NACo) Housing Task Force. The task force, comprised of 30 county government officials from across the country, will identify needs, challenges and solutions related to housing. “Counties are on the front lines of responding to the housing…

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Idaho Counties Glow Green for Veterans Day 2022

In observance of Veterans Day, the National Association of Counties launched their Operation Green Light for Veterans campaign. Counties across the country participated in the week-long event by lighting their buildings, offices, trees, and street lights green to honor veterans. Many of Idaho’s counties were proud to show their support for veterans and eagerly participated.  “I was excited to promote this in our community,” said Idaho County Clerk Kathy Ackerman. “We connected with the Grangeville Chamber of Commerce, the Grangeville City…

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State Tax Revenue Growth Slowing

The State of Idaho released tax collection numbers for the first quarter of state fiscal year 2023 and the results paint a mixed picture. While overall state tax revenues are up compared to the same quarter last year, the growth in state tax collections came in 2% below forecast. Of note to counties, sales tax collections came in under forecast by 3.1%. The good news is that the forecast was overly optimistic and overall sales tax collections are actually up 11.8%…

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