What's next for Canyon County jail bond

Posted at 10:32 PM, May 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-23 04:19:19-04

Canyon County is re-evaluating after voters smacked down it's fourth attempt to pass funding for a new jail.

The 187 million dollar bond was denied by two thirds of voters. And now the county is faced with the harsh reality of no new taxes.

When you lose by a super majority at the polls, Commissioner Leslie Van Beek says it's time for a change,-"I think we have to evaluate what the citizens are saying and they're saying no new taxes."

Victor Rodriguez agrees, "I wish there was a moratorium on bonding. On bonds. So the communities of canyon county could get a rest."

His group Concerned Citizens of Canyon County admits a new jail is needed but that Canyon County is "bond weary" especially after the recent Nampa sewer bond passed.

"The days of making the taxpayer pay for projects i think they're just about over," says Rodriguez.

So what do you do when property owners just won't budge? How about a localized sales tax? Commissioner Tom Dale says it might make a difference, "I think peoples acceptance of that methodology of funding would be much greater than a property tax increase."

Rodriguez agrees, "i think it might have passed that way with different funding."

Unfortunately, he there's a hitch: state law forbids it, "Maybe we could repeal that law." Not likely an easy task, but perhaps easier than trying another bond.