School bond and tax elections in Idaho

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School bond and tax elections in Idaho happen under two circumstances:
  • To issue new bonding
  • To exceed the state's debt limit

Laws affecting school finance

Idaho bond issue law

Idaho requires a bond referendum in order to issue new bonding. Bonds can be used for:

  • For the acquisition, purchase or improvements to one or more school buildings.
  • To build new schools and other facilities.
  • To remove and demolish old school facilities.
  • To repair and re-model existing facilities.
  • For furnishing and equipping of buildings including lighting, heating, cooling, and ventilation (HVAC), boilers, etc[1].

Regular school districts cannot have bonds that exceed more than five percent of the district's debt valuation while special districts are limited to two percent[2].

Bonds must be sold in denominations from $100 to $100,000, with a maturity of twenty years. Interest must be paid semi-annually, while there is no requirement if a bond has to be sold at, above, or par value[3]. The school districts are responsible to make sure bonds do not default[4].

Idaho debt limit

In Idaho, no school district can take in debt that exceeds the amount of revenue it brings in. The debt limit is protected in the Idaho Constitution[5].

Conduct of election, rules, limitation

Authority conducting elections

The respective county clerk is responsible for conducting local school bond and tax elections[6].

Election dates

Elections can be held normally during a statewide primary or general election which can be held during the First Tuesday after the first Monday in November and the fourth Tuesday in May every two even numbered years[7].

Needed majority

A two-thirds super-majority vote is required to pass an election involving the state's debt limit[5].

Special elections

There are no restrictions for special elections held for bond issue or debt limit elections[8].

Wording of measures

Under Idaho law, all ballot measures must end in "Yes" or "No", be clear and concise, and not confuse other ballot measures[9].

As of 2012, any entity submitting bonds to the electorate must provide a statement of the bond's intended use on the ballot. The statement must also include the anticipated interest rate on the proposed bonds, the total amount to be repaid over the life of the bonds, the length of time in which the bonds will be paid off, and the total existing indebtedness of the taxing district.[10]

Required notice of election

Public notice for any election must be given two times in two newspapers, twelve and five days before the election[11]. The minimum notice requirements for school bond elections is 21 days[12].

See also

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References

  1. Idaho Legislature "Idaho Bond Issue Law" (Referenced Statute 33-1102)
  2. Idaho Legislature "Idaho Bond Issue Law" (Referenced Statute 33-1103(3))
  3. Idaho Legislature "Idaho Bond Issue Law" (Referenced Statute 33-1107)
  4. Idaho Legislature "Idaho Bond Issue Law" (Referenced Statute 33-1115)
  5. 5.0 5.1 Idaho Legislature "Idaho Constitution"(Referenced Section Article VIII, Section 3)
  6. Idaho Legislature "Idaho Election Law"(Referenced Statute 34-108)
  7. Idaho Legislature "Idaho Election Law"(Referenced Statute 34-601(1)-(2))
  8. Idaho Legislature "Idaho Election Law(Referenced Statute 34-103)
  9. Idaho Legislature "Idaho Election Law"(Referenced Statute 34-1810(1))
  10. Idaho House Bill 452 (2012)
  11. Idaho Legislature "Idaho Election Law"(Referenced Statute 34-602)
  12. Idaho Legislature "Idaho Election Law"(Referenced Statute 33-402(2))