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Senate Bill 1063

Senate Bill 1063

Phil Haunschild
February 17, 2017

Bill description: This bill removes the state’s exemption from paying irrigation fees on land it owns for any benefits it might receive.

Rating: +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?

Currently, Idaho Code 43-725 states “No state lands included within any legally organized irrigation district shall ever be assessed, nor shall any of the preceding sections relative to the levying and collecting of assessments and taxes apply.” Because of this exemption, private landowners could be paying for irrigation services the state receives in each district. In the Nampa-Meridian Irrigation District alone more than $48,000 would be assessed on state lands under this amendment, according to the Fiscal Note attached to the bill. In practice, most departments pay this assessment, but a few do not, and others are threatening to quit paying their irrigation districts, according to the bill’s sponsors. The money the state would pay irrigation districts is, instead, split up among the landowners who pay for the services the state receives. This bill eliminates the exemption and requires the state to pay the relevant assessments. (+1)

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