Two Ada County commissioners chided previous commissioners as they voted to take more than $4 million in forgone taxes for improvements to county facilities.
Commissioner Diana Lachiondo said she couldn’t believe the lack of planning done by previous board members. Commission chairwoman Kendra Kenyon said it was “inexcusable.”
The Idaho Press reports, taxing districts have the ability to raise property taxes by 3% each fiscal year. If the taxing district opts not to, the money is considered forgone but can be recovered in future years with a resolution. The county had roughly $12.6 million in forgone taxes it could take.
The board considered the use of forgone property taxes for design costs for a new coroner’s facility, design costs for a new jail pod, acquisition of property for a jail expansion and a second driver’s license office. The total cost for the projects totaled roughly $5.3 million, according to numbers from the county. Of that, around $4.6 million will be paid for with forgone property taxes.
The board voted to take the full amount for each of the items except for the jail pod expansion, as Lachiondo had concerns about the county housing state inmates and hopes to seek a better solution in this next legislative session.
The coroner’s facility will cost roughly $1.8 million, the property will be purchased for about $1 million and $505,290 will be spent on the second driver’s license office.
The cost for the jail expansion pod was initially slated at $3.1 million, and commissioners voted to lower that to $2.1 million.