Bill Description: Senate Bill 1040 would allow property owners in an area of impact to consent to a city annexation under certain circumstances.
Does it violate the spirit or the letter of either the U.S. Constitution or the Idaho Constitution? Examples include restrictions on speech, public assembly, the press, privacy, private property, or firearms. Conversely, does it restore or uphold the protections guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution or the Idaho Constitution?
A foundational principle of American government is private property ownership. Senate Bill 1040 would clarify the right of homeowners in a Category A annexation under Idaho law to consent to an annexation if they live in an area that extends “into and” beyond a city’s “area of impact,” where the land is contiguous to the city limits.
Senate Bill 1040 is a follow-up to House Bill 635 from 2022, which passed the House but then failed to pass the Senate. That bill would have amended Category A annexations, which would have made it so that any legal language applying to “all private landowners (who) have consented to annexation” include those landowners extending “into any area city of impact.” Senate Bill 1040 now says the consent may extend “into and beyond” the city area of impact.
An example given in 2022 involved the city of Middleton, which established an area of impact adjacent to the city of Star’s city limits, roughly 17 years earlier. While Star was able to service the properties in the area immediately, Middleton was going to need another 20 years to be able to do likewise.
Middleton opposed the property being annexed by Star, blocking other property owners from being annexed into the city. While one might argue that property owners outside the side benefit from not having the burden of city taxes, a property owner might argue that such an annexation could increase the property’s value. A city’s efforts to keep a property owner from being able to consent to annexation violate private property rights.