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Idaho Ice World sucking taxes from Boiseans to cover continued losses

Idaho Ice World sucking taxes from Boiseans to cover continued losses

Lindsay Atkinson
December 19, 2018
December 19, 2018

If you are a resident of the city of Boise, whether or not you like to ice skate, you are paying for it. Idaho Ice World, the city-run ice rink, opened in 1998 and was sold to the city of Boise by the original owner in 2002. Every fiscal year for the past five years, Idaho Ice World has ended the year with a loss.

In Fiscal Year 2014, Idaho Ice World earned more than $1.4 million in revenue. However, the center’s expenses totaled $1.6 million, for a shortfall of $169,727. In Fiscal Year 2015, the shortfall totaled $146,191 and lowered a bit in 2016 to a loss of $50,564. However, in Fiscal Year 2017, the shortfall almost doubled to $94,303, and Fiscal Year 2018 ended with a loss of $76,246. These consistent losses over the past five fiscal years total more than a half million dollars, $537,031 to be exact.

This half a million dollar loss has proved costly for city residents. City taxpayers are responsible for paying this facility’s shortfall each year, since the city’s general fund covers all Idaho Ice World expenses. That fund is is generated by property tax dollars.

So, city residents who use the ice rink have paid for that use in two different ways: They pay pocket money for facility admission—at the current rate of $7 for an adult or $6 for a child—and tax money to help subsidize the repeated financial loss for the facility each year. Plus, residents who have never even set foot in the facility have helped pay for its continuous, annual operating losses.

It’s time for the city to sell the rink to private ownership, that can better manage it and whose annual fiscal outcome would not fall on taxpayers. There are private bowling alleys, ski resorts, trampoline jump centers, and more that offer public enjoyment for those who seek it, but do not cost residents more than the admission fee.

Idaho Freedom Foundation
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