Meridian Raising Spending 38%
In a move that could be described as a payback to the Idaho Legislature's action to limit the increase in your property taxes, the city of Meridian announces that they will raise property taxes on its citizens. The Idaho Statesman reports that Meridian's new budget will be a 38% increase from last year's budget. The city council voted to accept the budget except for one city councilman.
The council blames the legislature for the 2.4% tax property tax increase to Meridian residents. The legislature did its best to curb the continued rise in property taxes that are driving Idahoans out of their homes. They passed a measure that limited the amount of money cities could use to fund their services and growth. Several mayors spoke out against the first version of the bill and the second one that was passed into law.
The author of the bill House Majority Leader Representative Mike Moyle of Star, told the Statesman that cities have to work within a budget.
"I want people to know, the Legislature doesn't collect or spend property tax dollars, the Legislature gets no property taxes," Moyle said. "If (Mayor) Robert Simison and the City Council decide to raise the property taxes, that is their doing."
Meridian is one of the fastest-growing cities in the country. As part of the new budget, the city will give city workers a pay raise, a new police station, two new fire stations, and other updates.
There's no doubt that cities will continue to fund growth. However, the move by Meridian's City Council seems out of touch when so many Idahoans can't afford to stay in their homes. Perhaps, the city could build one new fire station and hold on to the pay raises and new police station?