Investments in Infrastructure Rise with Idaho’s Growth
In December 2021, the U.S. Census reported Idaho as the fastest-growing state in the nation for the fifth straight year. What does this growth mean for our roads? Simply stated, more growth equals more traffic which equals more congestion. While this may seem distressing, counties and highway districts across the state are prepared to take on the challenge thanks to additional funding streams recently passed.
Speed Limits and Speed Zones: Know Before You Go
Speed limits are set by Idaho law, specifically Idaho Code 49-654. Where no special hazard or conditions exists that requires a driver to lower their speed to fit conditions, such as weather or condition of the roadway, the maximum speed limit varies by types of roadways.
Public Schools and Property Taxes: the Two go Hand in Hand
The process for funding Idaho schools is complex. Each year, the Idaho Legislature decides how much state money public schools will receive. The funding formula for Idaho’s public schools is based on several factors, like the number of students enrolled adjusted for attendance, teacher salaries, teacher benefits, busing and transportation costs, and a slew of other funding categories for specific items that schools might access.
Investing in Idaho’s Transportation System Saves Money Down the Road
An extensive study of Idaho’s transportation system conducted by the Idaho Policy Institute in 2020 found that Idaho needs $241.8 million in revenue to restore and maintain current roads and bridges, each year. The study concludes, if such funding is not available and maintenance is deferred, then the figure compounds – making the funding requirements significantly larger in the future.
Housing Issues Prompt Creative Solutions from Idaho School Districts
The Blaine County school district launched a two-year pilot program for affordable housing to help certified and classified staff pay soaring rents in the region. The $1 million rental assistance program provides a subsidy for eligible staff members who spend 30% or more of their adjusted gross income on rent, utilities, and other relevant housing costs.
Idaho Transportation Funding for State and Local Highway Systems
Each year Idaho’s cities, counties, and highway districts levy about $150 million in property taxes for maintenance of roads and bridges. Increasing state revenue for local roads and bridges is one way state policymakers could reduce local government reliance on property taxes and provide property tax relief to Idaho businesses and homeowners.