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Moyle Readies Road Bill

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House Majority Leader Mike Moyle, R-Star, is preparing to make good on a pledge to help the state's ailing transportation system.

Moyle told BW he is preparing to introduce legislation that would require cities and counties to put half of the money they receive annually from new development into a fund to pay for transportation projects within their limits.

It's a proposal sure to raise the ire of local governmental agencies, which use those funds to pay for public services and community projects.

Currently, state law caps budget growth at 3 percent per year in addition to revenue from new development. Cities use these funds for everything from basic services like policing, fire fighting and code enforcement, to paying city employees. In recent years, the City of Boise has earmarked one-time funds for special projects like branch libraries and a whitewater park on the Boise River.

Under Moyle's proposal, half of the new development revenue would be put in a fund under the control of the local governmental agency, but dedicated only to roads projects or public transportation.

Moyle stresses the change would affect only cities and counties, and no other taxing district.

"Cities and counties are the ones approving these new developments," he said.

As Moyle envisions it, local officials would work with transportation agencies, including the Ada County Highway District, the Idaho Transportation Department and Valley Regional Transit, to select specific projects each year. Local money would then be used to help fund the projects.

He reasons this would not only help make up for the budget shortfalls among roads agencies, but make new residents pay for the roads projects made necessary by population growth.

Moyle said he's in the process of selecting who will co-sponsor the bill, adding that he has several interested parties. He expects to introduce the bill in the House Revenue and Taxation Committee within the next few weeks.

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