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With property taxes increasing, Idaho lawmakers discuss freezing them

Under the proposal, what you paid for property taxes in 2019, you would pay the same in 2020.

BOISE, Idaho — Revenue and Taxation Hearings aren't usually packed with standing-room-only, but with property taxes in the Treasure Valley steadily climbing, people packed the hearing on Tuesday when lawmakers discussed freezing property taxes.

Some may be excited by this news, but this proposal wouldn't be property tax relief, because the freeze doesn't apply to the assessed value of your property and the taxes you pay on that.

House Bill 409, which was put forth by Majority Leader Mike Moyle, would prevent taxing districts across the state from increasing their rate next year.

Basically, what you paid for property taxes in 2019, you would pay the same in 2020.

Right now state law allows taxing districts to increase property taxes up to 3% a year.

But what about cities that rely on that money, especially outside of Ada County? How about Nampa, for example?

According to Doug Racine, the city's finance director, the city has grown nearly 4% a year for the last five. And with that the need for new roads and repairs to old ones and public services like police and fire.

"In 2019 alone, we issued 320 new commercial permits with property value of 157 million," he said. "We issued residential permits, this is just 2019, with value of 155 million how do we pay for that growth?"

Good question - because if Nampa is unable to tax that growth, how will it pay for the services needed to provide for that growth?

It's a question a lot of small communities around the state might be asking, can you put a freeze on money coming in without putting a freeze on money going out?

Nampa Mayor Debbie Kling also spoke out against HB 409 today and spoke to KTVB right after.

"We need to lower our taxes, I totally support that and I'm so mindful of it," she said. "We need to make wise decisions that are well-advised and that's what I'm hoping we'll do."

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