What to Watch: Week of March 15

15 Mar 2021, by Sara Westbrook Share :
Property Taxes

This week we expect to see Senate Bill 1108 receive further amendments on the Senate floor. These will likely affect the new construction percentages to make the bill more palatable to Senators.

In addition, House Concurrent Resolution No. 15 was introduced on Thursday, March 11th. It will likely receive a hearing in the House Revenue and Taxation committee later this week. This resolution authorizes the Legislative Council to appoint a legislative interim study committee on property taxes and revenue expenditures. The principle goal of the committee would be to make recommendations on property tax relief, encourage economic development, and meet the needs of local units of governments. The resolution allows for non-legislative members to be appointed to the study committee at the discretion of the co-chairs as non-voting members.


We anticipate a vote on the House floor on House Bill 314 which would significantly increase access to transportation funding for local units of government by providing state general fund revenues for transportation projects through the Transportation Expansion Congestion Mitigation fund (TECM). Currently, this fund is only available for state highways, but House Bill 314 would increase the amount of sales tax revenues dedicated to TECM from 1% to 4.5%. Those funds would then be split 70/30 between the state and local highways and bridges plus the ability to leverage bonding to pay for projects. If you haven’t yet, please contact your House members and encourage them to vote “Yes” on House Bill 314.

House Bill 316 passed the House today and will be transmitted to the Senate Health and Welfare Committee. House Bill 316 limits eligibility for the county medically indigent program and state CAT fund preventing anyone who qualifies for Medicaid or insurance from receiving assistance through the programs. In addition, it eliminates state aid for public health districts and shifts that responsibility to counties. This aid will be funded from savings accruing to the county medically indigent program. We encourage you to reach out to your Senators to ask for their support for House Bill 316.


The list of House and Senate elections bills grows ever longer. Between the two respective bodies, over twenty bills relating to elections have been introduced so far this year. Most of these bills have been written in reaction to the national narrative regarding elections with little regard to how effectively elections are run across the state of Idaho. For a deeper dive into what elections bills have been proposed so far this year, click on this link and go to the
“Elections” subject header.

So far, only one bill regarding elections has passed both the House and Senate. House Bill 136, which would allow political subdivisions of no more than 140 voters to request that county commissioners allow at-large elections rather than by district, zone, or subdistrict. This IAC supported bill is on its way to the Governor’s desk for signature.