H 217a: An attack on local control and economic development

Tell Governor Little to Veto H217a

The Idaho Legislature has passed a bill that would stifle growth and economic development projects and investments throughout Idaho. It threatens (and seemingly targets) plans to build a new sports park in Boise, which would be primarily funded by private investment—the additional property tax generated by $100+ million in new commercial, housing, and retail development, and lease payments by the sports teams using the facility.

This bill would:

  • Hinder economic development and efforts to revitalize neighborhoods where investment has been lacking
  • Jam up the gears of local government, causing unnecessary delays and greater costs to taxpayers.
  • Give more power to naysayers who oppose public projects of all kinds by requiring that 60% of voters must approve, rather than a simple majority.
  • Severely weaken a vital tool that cities have for growing our economy and attracting businesses and jobs to Idaho.
  • Make it much more difficult to create the kinds of amenities that attract good jobs, business, tourism, and spending to our communities.
  • Scare away people looking to do business in and invest in towns across Idaho, through private-public partnerships.

Healthy cities are growing cities. Public amenities are an investment in community and shared spaces, as well as in continued growth and economic activity. This bill threatens the hard-won gains that our cities and towns have made since the end of the Great Recession. Our cities need the local control to weigh decisions and make smart investments for their communities without the Idaho Legislature putting their fingers on the scale. If people don’t like the decisions their local leaders make, they can weigh in under current law—by voting for new leaders.

Veto H217a