Bill Description: House Bill 349 would require that new herd districts must be enclosed by fences and cattle guards or gates.
NOTE: Herd districts are areas outside of cities and towns that have been legally designated as no longer open range.
NOTE: The Senate amendment to House Bill 349 makes some changes to effective and enactment dates. The amendment does not change the rating.
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?
House Bill 349 would amend Section 25-2401, Idaho Code, to remove a provision exempting older herd districts (those created before 1990) from a variety of laws and regulations governing such districts.
House Bill 349 would also amend Section 25-2405, Idaho Code, to say that any new herd districts created by a board of county commissioners "shall" (rather than may) be enclosed by fences and cattle guards or gates.
In most cases, herd districts are enclosed by fences and cattle guards or gates, but under current law, the enclosures are technically optional and county commissioners can choose whether to install them.
Another law, found in Section 25-2402, Idaho Code, says, "Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, a county shall have the authority to and shall levy an annual property tax not to exceed six hundredths percent (.06%) of market value for assessment purposes on taxable real property within the district for the costs of constructing and maintaining the legal fencing and cattle guards required by the creation or modification of such a herd district. …"
In other words, property taxes are one source of funding for herd district enclosures. By removing the county commissioners' discretion and requiring them to install such enclosures, House Bill 349 has the potential to increase property taxes.