State District 13B - House of Representatives
CANDIDATE NAME: Kenny Wroten
OFFICE SOUGHT: House of Representatives - 13B
1. In your opinion, what are the three most critical issues facing Canyon County at the present time? Which is the most important issue to you?
1. Economic Development (Current and Post-Coronavirus)
2. Property Taxes
The most import to me is the Economic Development in Canyon County. This encompasses working with an array of stakeholders – private and public.
2. What steps would you take to address these issues while in office?
My efforts would be focused on creating an atmosphere that is conducive to maintaining, expanding, and attracting business. Government’s job is to help create and support this type environment. Government, no matter at what level, should not choose winners and losers. I would work to create and support legislation that would help our existing businesses compete on a level playing field. I would also look for equitable ways to attract those businesses that support the local economy, employee base, and are good corporate neighbors.
3. What is your opinion on development impact fees?
The City of Nampa hired Galena Consulting in an effort to implement an equitable Development Impact Fee system. The final report in November 2018, proposed some big changes. The single-family residential unit fee went up by 3X, and some fees like per industrial s.f., went up 10X. It needs to be mentioned that Nampa is a full-service city, while the Ada County cities are not – but they have the Ada County Highway District (ACHD) that serves as another taxing district. Even with the jump in Impact Fees, it brought Nampa in line with those Ada County cities as far as fee rates go. I believe Middleton and Caldwell as still using the Impact Fee & Exaction method. Nampa will now be able to better ensure that growth is paying for growth, while also providing a better mechanism for funding roads and infrastructure. I believe the BCA and development community was present and included in the process of developing the new fee rates/structure.
4. Do you support or oppose mandatory sales price disclosure to the County Assessor for real property sales in the State of Idaho?
(Check One) ______________Support ____X______Oppose
I oppose this as it would provide a pathway, and information, for the Assessor to easily move to tax the transfer of Real Property. Proponents of sales tax on these transfers, seeking low-hanging fruit, would also like to see this disclosure.
5. How will you ensure that our county enables the development of housing sufficient to meet demand, provides sufficient buildable land to meet growth projections, and encourages land use zoning and regulations to ensure grown projections are achieved?
I would work at the State level to bring Canyon County and Nampa the tools they need promote and oversee these items as they and our citizens see fit. Again, the State needs to provide a supportive, consistent, atmosphere for other agencies and citizens to operate in. Nampa has a Comprehensive Land Use plan, and it is specific to the needs of Nampa. I would support the items that Canyon County and Nampa sees as best suiting them while being supported by legislation or policy.
6. What would you suggest and do to encourage affordable housing in Canyon County?
Affordable housing does not mean low-income housing. As prices have skyrocketed in our area it has become ever increasingly difficult for working families to find affordable housing. I would work with all stakeholders to produce more affordable housing. This will include developers, builders, city agencies, private and public agency support, and citizens. Affordable housing benefits our community and keeps Nampa citizens in Nampa.
7. Changes in property tax policy often result in a “tax shift” from one segment of the population to another. For example, an increase in the amount of the homeowner’s exemption results in an increased tax burden for non-residential real property owner (e.g., builder lots, rental housing, development lots, etc.). Please explain your thoughts on “tax shifts” and offer any suggestions you might have regarding the current property tax system.
In 2016 we did see a shift in property taxes. Indexing allowed the home owners exemption to float as home values rose. Prior to 2016, commercial properties carried about half of the property tax burden. In 2020, it is estimated that commercial now carries 35%, and homeowners taking on 65%. I would suggest revisiting the exemption indexing. This issue has become top-of-list as values have recently seen a sharp increase in our area. Though this would seem to be a good thing, many incomes are not keeping up with the increase in property taxes.
8. Do you support the concepts of a single building code for all jurisdictions that currently have building codes in the State of Idaho?
I would want to follow the lead of the Building Contractors Association and other relevant stakeholders. In my opinion, having a single building code may simplify and clarify some items. However, some areas in our state are just different than other places and building in them reflects that. I would use as an example of those building homes in McCall vs. building in Nampa. There are different things to consider such as the weight strength requirements for snow load, drainage, etc. That being said, an equitable, consistent, framework would be beneficial but allowances need to be considered for the differences that builders will encounter in different areas.
9. What role do you envision for comprehensive planning goals and implementing regulations to set the stage for economic vitality, and encouraging quality development?
A well thought out Comp Plan should do just that. It lays the ground work for current and future land uses. A Plan that is established by citizens, city staff, and knowledgeable outside agencies, should provide for thoughtful growth, quality of life, and economic development. As the community changes and grows, like Nampa has, the Comp Plan can be revisited and changed to reflect the realities of where the community is and where it wants to go.
10. What role will you be taking regarding Canyon County Planning and Zoning Building Department code changes? We would like to know what your feelings are regarding the implementations for all new code changes and how it should be handled? Do you feel that the building department could encourage community builders, and members of the SRVBCA to have an input?
As a House member and District representative I will be engaged in Legislature session activity. I would be apt to be looking at legislation that the SRVBCA is supporting or opposed to, rather than working with the P&Z directly. I work for the citizens of District 13B, and the builders, trades, businesses, that are in my district. I would think the building department would and should encourage builders and SRVBCA members to provide input and guidance. It this group that has boots on the ground, swinging hammers, and know what the codes are doing to benefit or are detrimental to the building industry. Policy makers do not always know the impact of their actions and those that are directly affected are in the best position to advise them.
As a Past Board of Directors member, as an Affiliate, I have supported the SRVBCA for a long time. I am still active in things like the POH, Builders Expo, and other events and meetings. I understand the importance of the building industry in our local economy. I also know that the SRVBCA is focused on the betterment of its members – builders, affiliates, and customers.