Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Road levy could reappear in November

County leaders mull options to fund repairs

Express Staff Writer

    The Blaine County commissioners on Tuesday agreed that if no better options become available to fund county road maintenance, a temporary property tax levy will again be put before voters in November.
    County voters defeated a proposed $10.5 million levy last week during a primary election that saw only 19 percent voter turnout. The money would have been collected over two years.
    “Typically, a November election is a better turnout,” Commissioner Angenie McCleary said.
    Commissioner Jacob Greenberg said that since the election, he had talked to several people who said they didn’t realize that if the county does not put more money into road maintenance soon, it will have to spend even more in the future.
    “Having a longer period of time to educate the public is important,” he said.
    The commissioners agreed to discuss the matter further at a later meeting. The deadline for ballot language to be submitted to the Idaho Secretary of State’s Office is Sept. 5.
    County road and bridge maintenance is funded primarily by state and federal fuel taxes. Greenberg said he has contacted the other seven counties in the Idaho Association of Counties District 4 urging them to support a resolution asking the Legislature to raise the state tax next year.
    “If the state decides to do something, perhaps we won’t have to do this [tax levy],” he said in an interview.

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