Boise Metro Chamber Updates Local Issues Policy Agenda Ahead of City Elections

With an eye towards the upcoming City of Boise elections, the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce has released its 2015-2016 local issues policy agenda, which includes all of the local issues for which the organization is currently lobbying.

Earlier in 2015, the Chamber endorsed the $10 million, two-year Boise city foothills open space and Boise River levy. The levy will come before voters on November 3rd. If approved, the levy would provide for the protection of clean water, native plant species, wildlife habitat, open space, recreation opportunities, and trails. The estimated impact on taxpayers is $28.66 a year per $100,000.

For the past year, the Chamber has been an active participant in Gowen STRONG, a community-wide effort led by the City of Boise and the Idaho Air National Guard to preserve military resources in Boise and favorably position the Idaho National Guard and Gowen Field for future changes and potential expansion. The estimated economic impact of Gowen Field on the Boise Metro is $210 million, which includes the salary and benefits paid to more than 2,800 direct and indirect employees.

Along with city leaders, the Boise Metro Chamber has endorsed the concept of a new sports and entertainment facility to be located in downtown Boise. The Boise Hawks’ current stadium was constructed in 1989. A new, multipurpose facility is needed to provide a modern-day fan experience as well as serve residents through different purposes. A new entertainment facility would bring sports, entertainment, jobs, and economic development to the Treasure Valley.

The Chamber has long-supported local option taxing authority to help fund local infrastructure projects to fund community economic development projects, and to help meet transportation needs. Local option taxing authority would allow communities to better position themselves to attract and grow businesses in their communities and to grow Idaho’s economy.

The Chamber has been a strong advocate for increased air service for the Boise Airport. In July 2014, the Chamber helped organize the local business community to secure a grant of $700,000 from the U.S. Department of Transportation for a nonstop flight to an East Coast hub. In addition to advocating for new routes, the economic development arm of the Chamber, the Boise Valley Economic Partnership, successfully brought the Sky West Maintenance Facility to the Boise Airport last year which will bring a projected 150 new jobs to the Treasure Valley.