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School of Public Service survey: Valley residents concerned about growth

The Treasure Valley has experienced rapid population growth in recent years, a trend that accelerated in 2020. Growth in the Treasure Valley in 2020, a new report from the School of Public Service finds that Treasure Valley residents remain concerned by the pace of growth. A majority of residents believe that the growth is occurring too fast and many are specifically concerned about high housing costs and property taxes.

“The unprecedented population growth in the Treasure Valley requires decision making that meets the needs of the changing region,” said Vanessa Crossgrove Fry, interim director of Idaho Public Policy Institute and an associate research professor in the School of Public Service. “This survey and resulting report can help leaders understand communities’ experiences regarding housing, transportation, and other salient issues.”

The survey’s key findings include:

– A large majority of people believe that the Treasure Valley is growing too fast, a trend that has changed dramatically since we began asking this question in 2016. These concerns extend to some of the consequences of growth, especially with regard to the cost of housing and property taxes.

– Nearly half of the people in our sample reported that the cost of housing was placing a financial strain on their household, with renters feeling these effects more acutely than homeowners.

– Nearly half believe that property taxes are too high, with a majority expressing that their primary concern with regard to these taxes is their unpredictable nature.

Growth has also impacted the region’s transportation needs. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought changes to commuting patterns in the region, with nearly half of workers reporting that they work from home at least part time.

Growth in the Treasure Valley in 2020 is part of the Sixth Annual Idaho Public Policy Survey. The Boise State School of Public Service conducted its Sixth Annual Idaho Public Policy Survey at the end of 2020.