January 14th 2015 – A hearing in front of the Idaho Supreme Court on a suit we (IBCA/North Idaho BCA) filed against the City of Hayden in North Idaho. The city has been collecting an illegal tax since 2007 to “expand their infrastructure” in the impact area. They have been collecting this from builders/developers under the auspice of a “sewer hook up” fee although the services have not been rendered. Essentially it is an illegally collected tax to the tune of over $10 Million since 2007. It looks very favorable from the Idaho Supreme Court that we will be the prevailing party in this case although we won’t know officially for at least a month.
The ramifications are far reaching due to the cities trying everything they can to hide illegally collected taxes to grow their revenue. They know the voters would never approve any ballot measures or bonds and so they go around our backs. The attorneys for the City of Hayden have consulted all across the state with numerous Idaho cities trying to “educate” them on how they can go around the law for these dollars.This ruling would shed light on this practice and put cities on alert that every penny taxed and/or collected will be watched. I am sure there are other cities that have or will be trying this same thing. Our victory should put them on alert and may actually bring action in cities across Idaho.
I am sending this to you because THIS IS WHAT WE ARE ABOUT. This is exactly why we exist and we need to talk about and share these things. I will be providing some more detail on this and some membership training on leveraging these type of actions at our State Board Meeting February 11-13. I want to HIGHLY encourage you each to come be a part of these meetings. WE NEED TO CHANGE THE NARRATIVE of promoting our value to our industry and our communities. Feb 11-13th starts that conversation. We need you to be a part.
Incoming 2015 IBCA President