Draft bill would dramatically redirect online sales tax

by Logan Finney, Idaho Reports Property taxes are a perennial discussion at the Idaho statehouse, and this year is no exception. An interim legislative committee drew headlines last week for a proposal to phase out supplemental levies, which voters pass to raise their property taxes and fund local school districts. The proposal would not createContinue reading “Draft bill would dramatically redirect online sales tax”

Legal fees over ballot initiative bill will cost taxpayers over $150,000

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports After a citizen’s advocacy group prevailed at the Idaho Supreme Court this year, Idaho taxpayers will pick up the tab for legal fees. The Constitutional Defense Council met Monday to discuss approving funding for the legal expenses accrued after they lost a lawsuit revolving around a ballot initiative bill thatContinue reading “Legal fees over ballot initiative bill will cost taxpayers over $150,000”

Burning through money: Historic wildfire season could bring historic price tag

By Ruth Brown and Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports A massive wildfire season will cost the state tens of millions of dollars, and the state agency in charge of land management is telling policy makers to prepare for more fire-filled summers in coming years. On Wednesday, Idaho Department of Lands Director Dustin Miller spoke to theContinue reading “Burning through money: Historic wildfire season could bring historic price tag”

Idaho’s spent just 1% of federal ARPA relief funds

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports During the second day of the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee’s interim meeting Wednesday, legislators listened to a breakdown of how much federal money the state has spent, and what’s still in the bank.  Alex Adams, of the Division of Financial Management, provided an update on the use of the American RescueContinue reading “Idaho’s spent just 1% of federal ARPA relief funds”

Idaho state budgeting committee meets, surplus nears $1 billion

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports The Idaho Legislature’s Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee met Tuesday to review budget requests from multiple state agencies.  The Legislative Services Office outlined a variety of supplemental appropriation requests the committee will need to approve. A supplemental appropriation is a request for more taxpayer funding to pay for an expense that’s incurredContinue reading “Idaho state budgeting committee meets, surplus nears $1 billion”

Gov. Little allocates another $10 million to medical facilities for COVID relief

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports Idaho Gov. Brad Little announced the allocation of another $10 million to provide relief from the growing strain on hospitals and health care workers. Idaho has been in statewide crisis care standards since Sept. 16 and coronavirus patients continue to flood hospitals. Crisis care standards are implemented when there areContinue reading “Gov. Little allocates another $10 million to medical facilities for COVID relief”

Costs of Idaho wildfire expected to double in 2021

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports In a blazing hot summer, fires continue to burn across Idaho and on Tuesday, the director of the Department of Lands said the conditions show no signs of improvement. The Idaho State Board of Land Commissioners met Tuesday to hear an update on fires from IDL Director Dustin Miller.  AsContinue reading “Costs of Idaho wildfire expected to double in 2021”

Idaho receiving $5.6 billion through ARPA. Now the hard work begins.

By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports Idaho is anticipating $5.65 billion in direct payments, grants, and fiscal relief from the American Rescue Plan Act, signed into law in March. Figuring out how to spend that money is shaping up to be a complex task, as lawmakers heard during the first meeting of the Interim Committee onContinue reading “Idaho receiving $5.6 billion through ARPA. Now the hard work begins.”

Price of wildfire expected to burn across government budgets

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports As wildfires across the state burn forests and property, budgeting for the suppression of the often human-caused blaze gets complicated.  Wildfire suppression takes into account which agency the burning property belongs to in Idaho. Those potential owners include the Idaho Department of Lands, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, theContinue reading “Price of wildfire expected to burn across government budgets”

Idaho sees shortage of firefighters amid ‘unprecedented’ wildfire conditions

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports Idaho authorities are stressing the need for people to recreate responsibly, as Idaho is already seeing more than double the number of fires than the previous record. “Idaho is experiencing severe drought and unprecedented fire conditions across most of the state,” said Idaho Department of Lands Director Dustin Miller. “ExtremeContinue reading “Idaho sees shortage of firefighters amid ‘unprecedented’ wildfire conditions”