By Laura Colvin
Kuna Melba News editor
City taxes are going down, but not by much.
The Kuna City Council passed a resolution Sept. 4 repealing a street light fee instituted in 2009.
The issue first came into question during the council’s recent marathon of budget discussion workshops, when Kuna City Treasurer John Marsh presented the council with a partially developed 2013 budget proposal, absent an anticipated $50,287 in revenue generated by the street light fee.
“A court ruling in Lewiston held that fees of this nature are a tax, and therefore invalid,” Marsh said in July, suggesting the council consider repealing the fee.
The disappearance of streetlight revenue came as new information to council members at the time, but general consensus among members was that, given the court ruling, the city was left with no option but to remove the anticipated revenue from 2013 general fund projections.
At the Sept. 4 meeting, council passed the resolution on the consent agenda after brief discussion.
Council member Briana Buban-Vonder Haar asked attorney Richard Roats if he would recommend adding language to the resolution stating the city would not be making retroactive reimbursements.
“I considered it,” Routs said. “It is council’s decision. Hopefully would be there will not be any retroactive reimbursements, because those would have to come before the council (for approval).”
Council member Doug Hoiland pointed out that, at $.75 per month, the assessment added up to $9 per year for about three years, which meant a total payout of about $36 per taxpayer.
On Feb. 3, 2009, then-city council members adopted the streetlight fee at a rate of $.75 EDU. The intention was to repeal the fee if and when a franchise agreement could be reached with Idaho Power, but at the council’s July meeting both Marsh and Kuna Mayor Greg Nelson indicated that attempts at discussion about such an agreement with Idaho Power representatives have thus far been fruitless.
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