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Boise State will buy Broadway office building; Property will leave property tax rolls

Paddles Up Poke

By Kevin Richert, IdahoEdNews.org

Originally posted on IdahoEdNews.org on February 13, 2020

Boise State University will purchase a 90,000-square-foot office building, as part of a long-term plan to move some administrative functions off of campus.

The sticker price of up to $22.5 million will come from bonds and lease proceeds. No general fund tax dollars will go toward the purchase.

Boise State already uses about 26,000 square feet of the property at 960 Broadway Ave., a mirrored building across the street from Albertsons Stadium. Other tenants use the rest of the space.

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That mix isn’t likely to change overnight. Boise State plans to use lease payments from non-university tenants to cover the cost of the bonds, university spokesman Greg Hahn said Thursday. The bond payments are expected to run about $1.3 million per year.

In time, however, the office space purchase is expected to “create a long-term location for BSU to relocate and consolidate non-academic functions to free up space in the core of campus for academics,” according to a State Board of Education memo.

Boise State hopes to close on the purchase by May 11.

The State Board approved the purchase this week during its meetings at Boise State.

Properties will leave tax rolls

By Don Day/BoiseDev

Once the school acquires the two parcels on Broadway, they will no longer generate property tax revenue for local schools and municipalities.

“It would become part of the campus and treated the same as the rest of campus,” Boise State Associate Vice President for Communications and Marketing Greg Hahn said.

Together, the two pieces of land total 3.272 acres. The Ada County Assessor valued them at $11.51 million for the 2019 tax year. The property tax bill for the parcels came to $156,318.

[Explain This to Me: How 2016 legislation shifted property tax burden from commercial land to homeowners]

Ada County, City of Boise, EMS services, the Ada County Highway District, Boise School District, Mosquito Abatement District and College of Western Idaho will all lose a nominal amount of funding from the transfer.

Boise Mayor Lauren McLean said, despite the loss of property tax revenue on the property, she supports it.

“The university is an investment in our future, and in our community. (The purchase) makes sense if they are growing.”

In 2017, the State of Idaho purchased the large HP Campus on Chinden Blvd. in Boise. That $100 million pulled the entire campus off the tax rolls, which cost more than $1 million in lost property taxes. Idaho Department of Administration Director Bob Geddes said the loss would likely be offset by state properties around Boise the state sold and returned to the tax roll.

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