Bill Description: House Bill 273 would clarify that voters can use an initiative or referendum to reduce the property tax base budget of a city or county.
NOTE: House Bill 273 contains some of the same concepts found in House Bill 247, introduced earlier this year. Unfortunately, House Bill 273 does not contain a valuable provision found in House Bill 247 that would require a majority vote to approve any rate increase in the property tax levy.
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 citizens to use the initiative and referendum process at the city or county level. House Bill 273 would amend sections 34-1801B and 34-1801C, Idaho Code, to say that, "notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, nothing prohibits the citizens of Idaho from using" the initiative or referendum process "to reduce the property tax base budget" of a city or county, respectively.
It is unclear if the initiative or referendum process has ever been used for this purpose or how effective such an attempt might be. But this clarification could at least inspire efforts to use these tools to seek meaningful property tax relief by reducing local government spending.
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