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Meridian, Garden City Hauled Back to Court to Argue About Paying for Court Services

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A judicial panel is scheduled to take up the long-debated issue of how—or even if—some Treasure Valley municipalities should be paying their share of Ada County court services.

For years, the city of Boise has been contributing most of the financial support needed to maintain services at the Ada County Courthouse, located in downtown Boise. However, as long ago as 1994, the Fourth Judicial District Court ordered the cities of Meridian and Garden City to pay up, saying "it was no longer reasonable for the city of Boise and Ada County to bear sole financial responsibility for processing of citations and complaints issued by other municipalities, given the volume of work."

The judges said either start paying for Ada County to do the work, or Meridian and Garden City should start building their own court facilities.

Meridian Mayor Tammy de Weerd has argued the order amounts to double taxation.

"In fact, we believe Meridian taxpayers already pay for the court system ... through your county taxes," she wrote in a Meridian Press op-ed last month. "They are asking you to pay again through your city taxes as well."

In August, the Fourth Judicial District Court once again ordered Meridian and Garden City to shell out the cash or come up with a proposal for how each city intends to meets its obligation to provide magistrate courts.

Finally, later today, a panel of Fourth Judicial District Court judges will conduct a formal hearing at the Ada County Courthouse to review the cities' respective proposals on the matter. The hearing gets under way at 1 p.m. in the public hearing room of the courthouse.