BOISE – Twenty-five cities and ten counties in Idaho have signed letters of intent to participate in Governor Brad Little’s plan that leverages federal coronavirus relief funds to cover local public safety personnel salaries and gives cities and counties the opportunity to pass on the savings to property taxpayers.

The move is expected to provide up to $200 million in property tax relief, or a 10-20-percent reduction in your property tax bill this year – but only if your city or county opts in.

“Our focus is to support our communities and our police, fire, and EMS personnel and ensure there are no reductions in public safety during these unprecedented challenges. I appreciate the cities and counties working with us to ensure the resulting budget savings are given back to the people of Idaho in the form of property tax relief rather than backfilling local government budgets,” Governor Little said.

Every city and county in Idaho is eligible and must submit a letter of intent to participate by 5 p.m. MST Friday. The letter of intent must be e-mailed to CFAC@dfm.idaho.gov.

“I’m pleased by the strong response from cities and counties opting in. The program will keep our communities safe by ensuring our local public safety and public health agencies are well-funded during this pandemic. The program has the added benefit of providing property tax relief to the citizens of those cities and counties that choose to participate,” Governor Little said.

Cities that have submitted a letter of intent include:

Boise

Nampa

Meridian

Coeur d’Alene

Twin Falls

Caldwell

Rexburg

Chubbuck

Jerome

Sun Valley

Rathdrum

Buhl

McCall

Bonners Ferry

Weiser

Preston

Kellogg

Rigby

St. Anthony

Sandpoint

Osburn

Pinehurst

Challis

Inkom

Homedale

Counties that have submitted a letter of intent include:

Canyon

Jefferson

Fremont

Madison

Boundary

Gooding

Idaho

Clearwater

Owyhee

Camas

The U.S. Treasury Department guidance gives the Governor the discretion to determine what expenditures are necessary due to the public health emergency. The Governor studied the issued and concluded that the new program is a necessary and appropriate use of Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds, and communicated the establishment of the program to the U.S. Treasury in July, at the request of the counties.

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