Bill Description: House Bill 30 would prohibit cities from entering into long-term leases or lease-purchase agreements for real property without voter approval.
Does it in any way restrict public access to information related to government activity or otherwise compromise government transparency, accountability, or election integrity? Conversely, does it increase public access to information related to government activity or increase government transparency, accountability, or election integrity?
House Bill 30 would amend Section 50-301, Idaho Code, by adding a new subsection that says, in part, "no city is permitted to acquire or use the real property of another party by a lease or lease-purchase agreement having a duration in excess of five (5) years without the approval of a majority of the electors voting at an election held for such purpose on a date authorized pursuant to section 34-106, Idaho Code."
Exceptions are created for "property leased to a city for the amount of one thousand dollars ($1,000) or less per year," "leases of city-owned property to another party," and "leases or lease-purchase agreements related to municipal electric power plants, municipal utility distribution and transmission systems, or railroads."
While there is no guarantee that these limited provisions would reduce government spending, and simple majority approval is not a particularly high bar, the policy called for in this legislation would let voters weigh in on one particular type of long-term indebtedness through which city governments can obligate taxpayers.