Search This Blog


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Transportation funding is likely to stall Legislature's adjournment next week

According to Betsy Russell at the Spokesman Review's Eye on Boise Blog, the legislature was hoping to adjourn a week from today, but that deadline is likely to be extend to give them time to resolve transportation funding issues.

Two bills are in play that would generate about $2.74 million in new revenue annually. Also in play is another bill, introduced by Rep. Phil Hart, Athol. His bill would divert about $22 million of existing revenue into transportation accounts. You can read about those here.

What started as a proposal asking the legislature for the authority to impose a local option sales tax for transit in metro areas has turned into a constitutional amendment to grant local option taxing authority for any purpose. The kicker is that the local option tax must garner a super majority of votes, or 66.6% of the vote to pass, and the vote can only be held on general elections in November.

The bill made it out of committee on a party-line vote, but some believe the strict restrictions on the voter approval process are "poison pills," meaning they are intentionally designed to generate enough oposition to kill the bill on a floor vote.

Apparently, the bill would eventually affect the existing local option sales tax authorities that cities and counties already have. Those existing authorities do not have such strigebt guidelines. Read more detail and the comments at the Eye on Boise Blog

No comments: