Majority of Idaho cities, counties support Little’s plan to leverage federal COVID relief funds
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The following is a news release from the office of Governor Brad Little.
BOISE — Fifty-four cities and 28 counties submitted letters of intent to participate in Governor Brad Little’s plan that leverages federal coronavirus relief funds to cover local public safety personnel salaries and gives cities and counties the opportunity to pass on the savings to property taxpayers.
The interest in the plan exceeded the funds available, so a pro rata allocation will cover approximately 44% of local government payroll costs.
Under the plan, Idaho property taxpayers in participating cities or counties could see a 10- to 20% one-time reduction in their property taxes this year.
The U.S. Treasury Department guidance gives the governor the discretion to determine what expenditures are necessary due to the public health emergency. The governor studied the issues and concluded that the new program is a necessary and appropriate use of Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds, and communicated the establishment of the program to the U.S. Treasury in July, at the request of the counties.
“Our focus is to support our communities and our police, fire, and EMS personnel and ensure there are no reductions in public safety during these unprecedented challenges. I appreciate the cities and counties working with us to ensure the resulting budget savings are given back to the people of Idaho in the form of property tax relief rather than backfilling local government budgets. As a fiscal conservative, I believe all federal funds – which are taxpayer funds – should be managed prudently and judiciously on behalf of all taxpayers. Wasteful spending simply creates debt obligations for our children and grandchildren. The Trump Administration has praised Idaho’s conservative approach to managing the federal relief funds, and I am committed to continue acting as a responsible steward of scarce taxpayer resources,” Governor Little said.
Cities and counties that submitted letters of intent to participate include:
Twin Falls County