Two elected officials from Canyon County have joined a growing chorus of policymakers in Idaho in expressing concerns over the activities of the Idaho Department of Land (IDL).
In exclusive interviews with IdahoReporter.com, Canyon County Commissioner Craig Hanson and Idaho State Rep. Robert Anderst, R-Nampa, have echoed some of the same concerns raised by Reps. John Vander Woude, R-Nampa, and Grant Burgoyne, D-Boise, about the IDL's board of directors, but also made several of their own points.
"There are many unfunded mandates that come from the state and that are placed on the counties (county governments)," said Hanson. Noting that when the IDL purchases and then operates a piece of commercial property, the property is no longer "taxable" by government agencies, Hanson said that "with the state taking more tax revenue out of our county, it's kind of like an unfunded mandate in reverse."
Anderst noted that, according to state law, land swaps conducted by the IDL need to involve trades between similar properties, yet some of the swaps that the IDL has advocated involve quite dissimilar types of property. "I don't know if this has ever been tested much," he said of the law.