An almost four-minute video published last week urges Boise voters to vote for a voluntary tax increase that would raise $10 million to protect the Foothills and Boise River.
Boise-based groups Idaho Conservation League and Conservation Voters for Idaho are splitting the cost of the video, produced by Jason Kauffman, co-owner of Alpenglow Press in Boise. It features Boise Mayor David Bieter, Councilwoman Lauren McLean and several groups of people using the Foothills and river.
As expected, both Idaho Conservation League and Conservation Voters for Idaho are backing the levy. Lana Weber, community engagement associate for Idaho Conservation League, said they’ll both start promoting the video on social media soon.
Then the campaign begins for real. The groups will try to enlist teams of volunteers to make calls to prospective voters, explaining the levy to them and encouraging them to vote in favor of it. They’ll also send promoters to events and ask people there to pledge to support the levy.
Unlike a bond election, which requires a two-thirds supermajority, a levy requires only a simple majority to pass. If voters approve this one, it will raise property taxes in Boise by about $2.40 per month, per $100,000 of taxable value.
So far, no organized opposition to the levy has materialized.
The Jim Hall Foothills Learning Center is hosting an information session at 7 p.m. on Oct. 14 at 3188 Sunset Peak Road, in Boise.
Courtney Washburn, executive director of Conservation Voters for Idaho, said she’s a little worried about low turnout in this election. As of Monday afternoon, no one had filed to run against the four incumbents in Boise’s city government elections, so it’s possible the levy could be the only true contest.
Washburn said people generally seem to support the idea of the levy once they understand it, but worries they might stay home on Election Day because there’s not much interest in the election as a whole.
“Support is great, except it only really matters if we can get those supporters to vote for it,” she said.