House Bill 489 — Cities annexation

House Bill 489 — Cities annexation

by
Lindsay Atkinson
February 17, 2020
Lindsay Atkinson
February 17, 2020

Bill description: HB 489 repeals and replaces Idaho Code regarding how cities may annex private lands.

Rating: +3

Does it in any way restrict public access to information related to government activity or otherwise compromise government transparency or accountability? Conversely, does it increase public access to information related to government activity or increase government transparency or accountability?

HB 489 repeals and replaces the process whereby cities can annex private lands. The bill increases government transparency by clarifying a standard procedure by which a city has to notify landowners of its intent to annex their lands. This procedure replicates some items from the current Idaho Code, but it also clarifies some elements in a way that increases transparency. For instance, it requires cities to “advise landowners of their right to give or withhold consent” for an annexation.

(+1)

This bill also increases government accountability by repealing the three categorizations of annexation, which require varying degrees of consent. HB 489 replaces them with only one route to annexation: when “two-thirds (⅔) of the landowners consent to annexation.” This only allows cities to annex lands when they have a supermajority of consent from landowners.

(+1)

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? 

Often, newly annexed lands do not immediately benefit from city services, even though they are taxed for them. This bill would remedy this situation by expressly instructing that “a person whose land is annexed pursuant to the provisions of this section shall not be required to pay taxes for city services that are unavailable in the annexed land, and such person’s taxes should be reduced accordingly.” 

(+1)

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