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Eye On Boise

Thu., Dec. 1, 2011, 1:29 p.m.

County commissioner: Counties required by state law to provide services

Roger Christensen, Bonneville County commissioner and board chairman of the Idaho CAT Fund, told the Associated Taxpayers of Idaho that much of what Idaho's counties do is required by state law - it's not voluntary. "You do have these tremendous pressures on the local taxpayers, that normally have been provided for with a broader tax base, now being shifted down," Christensen said. County services, he said, are directly affected by changes in federal and state funding and regulations, from jails to roads to care for the medically indigent. "We're required if there are no other resources at the county level to pay for services, if they meet certain criteria," Christensen said. "If that mandate is not removed from the local level, that's where they end up."

He said, "All I know is that I'm standing in the water, it's kind of rising, and it's getting deeper."

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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