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House Bill 240 — Ambulance taxing districts

House Bill 240 — Ambulance taxing districts

Phil Haunschild
March 11, 2019

Bill description:  HB 240 would allow ambulance districts to assess a 50 percent higher property tax rate.

Rating: -2

Does it directly or indirectly create or increase any taxes, fees, or other assessments? Conversely, does it eliminate or reduce any taxes, fees, or other assessments?

Idaho law allows county commissioners to establish ambulance districts within the whole county or a portion of it. These districts are allowed to assess a property tax on the residents of the district in order to provide ambulance transportation, emergency medical services, community health emergency medical services, and/or other activities necessary to meet the community health needs of the district.

The total levy rate these districts can assess, is capped at 0.04 percent of the full value of assessed property in the district. In other words, if a district has $1 million in taxable property, the ambulance district could not assess more than $400. HB 240 would raise this cap to 0.06 percent.

There are currently 27 ambulance districts across the state, with total assessable property values of nearly $130 billion. Together, the ambulance districts assess more than $28 million in property taxes.

By raising the cap by 50 percent, HB 240 would allow ambulance districts to assess an additional $26 million.


Does it increase government spending (for objectionable purposes) or debt? Conversely, does it decrease government spending or debt?

HB 240 would allow any ambulance district to increase its budget to an amount which would assess the full 0.06 percent levy rate, provided 60 percent of voters approve the increase. This would bypass the 3 percent annual growth cap in taxing districts budgets and would allow the ambulance districts to increase by any amount to take them to the 0.06 percent levy rate.


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