Thursday, April 12, 2012

Commissioners Identify Cuts in 2012 Budget to Pay Down Alamar Judgment

P.O. Box 1300
Idaho City, Idaho 83631
Fax: (208)392-4473

Terry C. Day, District I; Jamie A. Anderson, Distrit II; Robert A. Fry, District III; and Mary T. Prisco, County Clerk 

RELEASED – April 9, 2012
IDAHO CITY Boise County Commissioners and department heads last week have found in the 2012 budget another $500,000. The funds will go toward paying off the remaining judgment balance of $3.15 million plus interest awarded last year by a jury that heard Alamar’s case against Boise County. In November 2011, the county paid $2.25 million toward the settlement with fund balances identified by the bankruptcy court decision.

In response to requests made at recent public meetings, the county is posting documents related to the Alamar case. A hot link from will take readers to initial permit applications, court decisions, trial and bankruptcy hearing transcripts and settlement order. Commissioners expect the link to be live within the next week.

In early 2009, owners of the proposed Alamar Ranch youth treatment center charged that the county violated federal Fair Housing rules when it issued a conditional-use permit. Alamar claimed that additional requirements imposed by the county, along with a cap of 24 beds, made the project unworkable, and a federal jury agreed.

On April 5
, HB697 became law, allowing Boise County voters to decide whether to allow Boise County a restricted revenue stream which would allow a loan through the municipal bond market to pay off the judgment. A bond would significantly lower the current interest rate. (For more about the ballot issue, see Frequently Asked Questions in this issue.)

Frequently Asked Questions: Ballot Measure on County’s Budget

Q. If the county had funds equaling 25 percent of its 2012 budget, why can’t they just keep cutting over the next three years to pay off the judgment?

A. These were one time monies from fund balances.

Q. If the measure passes, how much will it cost me?

A. Commissioner’s will be meeting next Monday with a financial advisor and plan to make numbers available sometime that week.

Q. What is the total amount we now owe?

A. 3.15 million plus 5.5% interest annually.

Q. Do you plan to use the bond to repay the county budget the 2.25 million that was paid in November 2011?

A. NO. The Commissioners used past savings to minimize the impact to the taxpayers.

Q. Will you continue to increase our taxes after the judgment is paid?

A. NO. The budget increase will pay the Alamar judgment only. All of the 3 % growth will return to the 2012 level.

Q. Since there is no time limit on the ballot question, how can I be sure that you won’t use this tax increase for as long as possible?

A. The authority in HB 697 to levy restricts the use to paying the Alamar judgment only. The State Tax Commission cannot certify the increase for any other purpose.

Q. Are we going forward with any legal action against the tax commission?

A. Commissioners suspended action in anticipation of a favorable vote on May 15

Q. Who can I contact for information?

A. Individual County Commissioners will be holding informal meetings in their districts. Commissioners invite questions and comments be emailed to them at ; ; or .

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