Kuna district seeks impact fees for new schools

A growing Treasure Valley school district is pushing a familiar approach to address enrollment increases: impact fees.

The Kuna School District wants the authority to impose impact fees to pay for new schools, the Idaho Press reported Sunday. Other government entities can collect fees on new residential development, but schools are not allowed to do so.

“Currently, we do not have a mechanism for growth to pay for growth,” district budget and finance manager Adam Bell told Jordan Erb of the Idaho Press. “This allows for housing coming into the community — that’s impacting our community and adding to our school numbers — to pay a portion of their fair share without it financially overburdening the current taxpayers.”

Kuna officials hope to convince school trustees and legislators to endorse the change. If history is any guide, the former might prove to be easier than the latter.

Kuna wants Idaho School Boards Association members to adopt an impact fee resolution at their annual convention in November. ISBA members adopted a similar resolution in 2015, proposed by the West Ada School District.

Despite the backing of trustees, and the state’s largest school district, the proposal gained no traction at the Statehouse.


Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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