Growing Pains

Tom Michael / Boise State Public Radio

Last week on our “Growing Pains” series we took a deep dive into property taxes. We talked a lot about how those taxes have been going up in the Treasure Valley, why they’re going up, and about three possible ways to help homeowners. 

Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman


As we wrap up our "Growing Pains" series on growth and affordability in the Treasure Valley, we wanted look at some possible solutions to the issues we've covered. What solutions are out there to help folks dealing with skyrocketing home prices, lengthy commutes and traffic, rising property taxes, demands on government services and more? And if the valley continues on its current trajectory, what does the next 20 years look like?

Kate Talerico / Idaho Statesman

Idaho Matters is continuing our "Growing Pains" series on growth and affordability issues facing the Treasure Valley, one of the fastest growing places in the country. Today, we’re spending time in Canyon County to better understand how cities like Nampa and Caldwell are approaching this topic.


Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

We are continuing our "Growing Pains" series on growth and affordability in the Treasure Valley with a trip to Canyon County. The county has the largest Latino population in the state, and members of the community are essential to the agriculture industry in the region. So how are the issues of rising home prices and rapid growth affecting this community?

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

We know housing prices have gone up rapidly in Ada County in recent years. In Canyon County, folks are also feeling the squeeze. So what does that mean for people looking to purchase their first home in the Treasure Valley? Especially for Millennials — who have gone through two historic recessions in young adulthood — buying a home can be out of reach in this very popular market.

Katherine Jones / Idaho Statesman


Alhough a lot of attention is paid to the growth Boise has seen in recent years, the prize for the fastest growing city in Idaho belongs to its neighbor to the west: Meridian. As family farms have turned into single family homes and retail space, the community's identity has shifted with the growth. Perhaps one of the best examples of the rapid change in Meridian is located at the intersection of Eagle and Fairview roads.

Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman


As part of our "Growing Pains" series on Idaho Matters, today we’re looking west to Idaho’s fastest growing city: Meridian. What used to be a quiet bedroom community with homes spread out between family farms has become the second largest city in the state. Meridian has outpaced estimates and tripled in size in the last 20 years. 

MICHAEL LYCKLAMA / Idaho Statesman


As Meridian's population swelled in recent years, that’s created some challenges for what is now the largest school district in the state: the West Ada School District. Schools are overflowing with students while the district looks to taxpayer funded bonds and levies for support. 



The Treasure Valley is a popular place to live these days, and the pace of new folks moving to the region is driving housing prices to new levels.

At the same time, the need for new or improved schools, sewers, highways, fire departments and other services also grows. Those services are paid for by property taxes, which are on the rise in many parts of the valley. This perfect storm means that many people can’t afford to buy a home — while some homeowners can’t afford their property taxes.

On Idaho Matters, we’re taking a deep dive into property taxes — which is not an easy subject. That’s why we're talking with Alan Dornfest, Property Tax Policy Bureau Chief at the Idaho Tax Commission and Margaret Carmel, a journalist with BoiseDev to help us sift through the ins-and-outs of property taxes.



We’re continuing our deep dive into property taxes in the Treasure Valley, and how this tax is contributing to the lack of affordable homes in the region. Previously, we talked about how much rising property values contribute to tax bills. But behind those numbers are individuals and families who live in the Treasure Valley, and who may be struggling to keep up with rising housing costs.


When it comes to giving property tax relief to low-income or fixed income residents in the Treasure Valley, there's no easy solution. But according to Idaho Matters guests Margaret Carmel of BoiseDev and state Sen. Maryanne Jordan (D-Boise), there are several ideas worth considering. As part of our three-part conversation on this issue, we're exploring a few of these possible solutions today.

Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman


Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman