Mayor and Council listened to information brought forth by Finance Director Doug Racine and Legal Counsel Mark Hilty, around the possible risks and rewards of the program. The program was created with the intent to provide a single year of property tax relief for residents in the cities and counties which participate. According to the GPSI program details, in order to qualify, the expenditures must have been unanticipated and not accounted for in the current budget. Racine detailed concerns about the program which included its potential liability for the City of Nampa should an audit of the program’s use of funds be deemed unacceptable. Police and fire services were budgeted in the current and upcoming fiscal years, and were not necessarily “substantially dedicated” in response to COVID-19 activities. Due to a concern that the documented allocation of resources may not meet applicable guidance currently documented, the council voted (5-1) not to participate in the GPSI program.
Nampa Mayor Debbie Kling appreciated the council’s deliberation and serious consideration. “This was a very difficult decision made by our Council. We all want property tax relief for our citizens. While we appreciate the intent of this program, council voted not to take the potential risk, which could result in the City having to repay approximately nine million dollars, at the expense of our taxpayers, should an audit occur and the use of funds be deemed unacceptable. We did determine the financial risk to the City of Nampa and our citizens did not outweigh the short-term benefit,” Kling said.
The City of Nampa has approved CARES Act funding for up to $500,000 in total funds to give to small businesses with average awards to individual applicants ranging from $10,000 to $15,000. Additionally, the City of Nampa approved allocation of up to $200,000 to the Boys & Girls Club for their community services.
To view the September 17 special council discussion, visit livestream.com/cityofnampa.us or click here.