Idaho taxpayers could see a one-time property tax reduction

| July 23, 2020 1:00 AM

BONNERS FERRY — The city of Bonners Ferry and Boundary County are among the 82 cities and counties which submitted letters of intent to participate in Idaho Gov. Brad Little’s Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act plan.

The plan mentioned above leverages federal coronavirus relief funds to cover local public safety personnel salaries. It allows cities and counties to pass on the savings to property taxpayers.

Interest in the funds exceeded availability, and pro-rata allocation will cover approximately 44-percent of local government payroll costs.

Under the plan, Idaho property taxpayers in participating cities or counties could see a 10- to 20-percent one-time reduction in their property taxes this year.

The U.S. Treasury Department guidance gives the Governor the discretion to determine what expenditures are necessary for the public health emergency.

The Governor studied the issued and concluded that the new program is a necessary and appropriate use of CARES Act funds. It then communicated the establishment of the program to the U.S Treasury in July, at the request of the counties.

There would be no reduction in public safety. The state will continue to support police, fire and EMS personnel, Little said, who said he plans to limit wasteful spending to limit debt obligations that would inevitably fall onto future generations.