The Senate Local Government & Taxation Committee voted to kill Senate Bill 1093, which would have restricted annexations in cities under 8,000 population. The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll, R-Cottonwood, asked the committee to send the bill to the amending order for changes, but committee members said that the bill was too flawed to proceed.
AIC Counsel Jerry Mason provided very compelling testimony in opposition to Senate Bill 1093. He described the historical foundation of local government in Idaho as a “three-legged stool,” with counties, school districts and cities each carrying out a vital mission at the local level.
“Counties provide a basic level of rural services and state-mandated functions. School districts fulfill the educational mission. Cities provide services and infrastructure for urban areas. The point of all this is to avoid duplication of effort and duplication of taxation.”
“Modern communities don’t just happen by chance, they are the result of choices by local elected officials and landowners,” Mason said. “Idaho law has for decades required cities to plan for future growth. Another key part of that process is municipal annexation.”
Mason explained that the 2002 annexation law was the result of considerable input from stakeholders, including realtors, builders, and chambers of commerce from around the state. The legislation made significant improvements to the annexation process, including: strengthening requirements for notice to those affected by a proposed annexation; requiring cities to prepare annexation plans outlining how services and infrastructure will be extended to the annexed area; and providing disclosure to property buyers that land is in an area of city impact or subject to a recorded consent to annexation.
“If urbanization can happen without annexation, we’re breaking down the fabric of the system that has been in place for over 100 years,” Mason said. “Annexation is what keeps county taxpayers from paying the costs of urban services.”
We appreciate the efforts of city officials who called or sent letters to the committee in opposition to SB 1093.
AIC submitted the attached letter to members of the committee expressing our position on the legislation. To view the letter, click "Download File (PDF)" below.