What is the Boise for Clean Water and Open Space campaign?

Conservation Voters for Idaho is working to pass a smart, accountable levy that will help make Boise a better place to live, work, and raise a family. We are working to protect areas like the Boise River and the Boise Foothills to create a vibrant and sustainable future.

Why is this issue on the ballot?

On the November 7 ballot, Conservation Voters for Idaho is asking voters TO APPROVE a clerical amendment to the Boise Clean Water and Open Space Levy that passed by 74 percent in 2015. This amendment would allow the City of Boise to collect this revenue in fiscal years 2018 and 2019, rather than in fiscal years 2017 and 2018, as the original ballot measure stipulated. The amendment is needed because of a clerical error in paperwork filed with Ada County that helps set the City of Boise’s general fund tax levy each year. The paperwork unintentionally omitted a line specifically calling out the levy approved by voters in 2015 (though its value was included elsewhere on the form). As a result, the levy wasn’t assessed during fiscal year 2017.

When will it be on the ballot?

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

What is eligible for funding?

The fund will protect clean water and drinking water, wildlife habitat, critical open space, native plant species and enhance recreation opportunities and trails through the purchase of property and improvement projects in areas such as the Boise Foothills and Boise River.

How can I help?

The campaign is looking for donations and volunteers, please contact Avery Roberts at 208-342-1264.

What is the history?

Boise has a strong history of protecting clean water, conserving wildlife habitat, and keeping open space for recreation.
Much of this legacy was built from an open space levy passed by voters in 2001 that set aside $10 million to preserve places like Table Rock, Hull’s Gulch, and the Military Reserve. Now in its thirteenth year, 10,750 acres of undeveloped foothills property in Boise have been protected as public open space through acquisition, donation, conservation easement, or land exchange. But this fund will soon run out.
In 2015, 74% of Boise voters approved a temporary override levy for a total of $10 million. Since that time the city preserved over 400 acres, improved access to open space, and improved trails. The citizen advisory committee with representatives throughout the city meets quarterly. An annual audit will be completed by the end of each year.

What will I see on the ballot?

On November 3, 2015, Boise City voters approved a temporary override levy with 74% of the vote to protect clean water and drinking water, wildlife habitat, critical open space, and native plant species, and enhance recreation opportunities and trails through the purchase of property and improvement projects in areas such as the Boise Foothills and the Boise River. Due to a clerical error, the approved levy was not assessed in the first fiscal year. To ensure that the will of the voters is preserved, shall the City of Boise, Idaho be authorized to revise the assessment period of the previously-approved temporary override levy to the two fiscal years beginning October 1, 2017 and ending September 30, 2019? If approved, the final total amount collected through this override levy will remain equal to ten million dollars, as was originally approved by voters in 2015. None of the money will be spent on administrative costs and there will be oversight by a citizens’ advisory committee and annual audit.

IN FAVOR OF the temporary levy

AGAINST the temporary levy

What is the City doing to prevent this from happening again?

A series of corrective measures are being implemented to prevent a similar scenario in the future. These include:

  • Specific training, review, approval and submission procedures for the L-2 (the Idaho Tax Commission form in question) for city staff
  • More diligent review of property tax payments into city accounts to ensure amounts are aligned with expectations
  • Internal third-party audit of the city’s L-2 filing in advance of submission to Ada County
  • Work with Idaho Tax Commission and organizations that represent municipalities and taxing districts (Association of Idaho Cities, Idaho Association of Counties, the Idaho Association of School Administrators, etc.) to make the L-2 form more intuitive for users.

Who are the friends of the Boise Clean Water and Open Space Levy?

Trust for Public Lands
Land Trust of the Treasure Valley
The Nature Conservancy
Idaho Conservation League
Boise Mayor Dave Bieter
Boise City Council Member Lauren McLean
Boise City Council Member Elaine Clegg