NAMPA, Idaho — Editor's Note: This article was originally published by The Idaho Press.
After a special meeting last week to consider how to approach new development, Nampa won’t put a moratorium on new construction, Mayor Debbie Kling announced Thursday.
This came days after Caldwell City Council paused new development for up to 120 days in response to a new law, HB 389, that limits how much cities and counties can tax new development and caps budget growth overall.
“Due to the impact of House Bill 389 and the significant growth our community is experiencing, we are continuing to update and refine the fiscal analysis of new growth on city services,” Kling said in a statement. “Our fiscal analysis tool helps inform council of service level requirements related to property tax revenue so that proposed projects do not create an undue burden on existing residents and pay their fair share. Growth needs to fund growth.”
Gov. Brad Little signed HB 389 into law, but he had “significant concerns” about the bill’s “unintended consequences.” While designed to lower property taxes, city governments will need to adjust budgets to account for an 8% cap on increases and a 90% cap on the amount of new construction value they can recognize in their budgets.
At last week’s meeting, Nampa considered pausing new construction while figuring out how to move forward given the budget constraints. Those potential budget constraints largely affect public safety services like police and fire.
Caldwell City Councilmen this week repeatedly expressed that they don’t want to stop new construction permanently, but would rather just take time to reconfigure their budget and figure out a sensible way forward once more details are gathered.
As the Treasure Valley deals with a shortage of housing, the rising cost of housing and need for more inventory was discussed in Caldwell as a potential reason not to implement the moratorium.
Now, Nampa is choosing to differ from Caldwell because no moratorium is being considered.
“Our goal is to make wise decisions related to growth,” Kling said in a statement. “The attempt to stop growth could impact countless families by taking away jobs and possibly further exasperate the fast escalation of housing prices and assessed values.”
Nampa will hold a special city council meeting at 5:30 p.m. Monday, and the action item around the fiscal analysis is anticipated to begin around 6 p.m., according to Kling’s statement.
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