About Us

Frequently Asked Questions

kayaker paddling the teton river

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Recreation District? 

A recreation district is a local government agency that manages parks, facilities, and programs to provide residents with recreational opportunities.It  is managed by a three-member board of directors. Similar to a library or school district it generates a stable funding stream from taxes. 

How is a Recreation District Formed?

Any member(s) of the community can take action to form a recreation district. The petition requires signatures of 20% of the registered voters within the district boundaries to get the recreation district question on a ballot. The recreation district question requires the support of a majority (50%+1) of votes. If passed, an initial board of directors will be appointed by the Board of County Commissioners. As the appointees' initial terms expire, board members are elected by the voters.

What will I be voting for?

You will have the opportunity to vote, yes or no, for a recreation district named “Teton Valley Parks and Recreation District”. Its boundaries will include all of Teton County, Idaho. The maximum tax rate will be 0.028%

Why now?

We have held focus groups and surveyed the community to  gauge the level of interest in a Recreation District. Those methods identified a high level of support. However, in order to  ensure the entire community can decide,  we believe the right approach is to put the question on a major election ballot. The November 2024 election is the best time to get a representative portion of the County electorate out to the polls. 

How much will this cost me? 

The maximum tax of 0.028% would cost $2.33/month per $100K of assessed value or $15/month  or $178/year for the medium house ($637k) in Teton County with a homeowner’s exemption. 

Why 0.028%?

While Idaho statutes allows a maximum 0.06% tax, we are confident .028% strikes a balance between maintaining fiscal responsibility and providing the necessary support for a thriving recreation district.,draft budgets  indicated that 0.028% rate would address Teton County’s recreation needs and focus group and survey results indicated that this rate could be acceptable to the community.

How much will the tax raise?

The 0.028% rate will raise approximately $1.6 million per year.

Why is this needed?

Due to tight city recreation budgets and almost non-existing county recreation budgets, parks and recreation facilities suffer from a backlog of repairs and maintenance. For the most part, these parks and facilities are being paid for by city residents while the majority of growth is outside city limits and those residents don't pay to support them. This leaves the cities and nonprofit organizations to cover the costs, which is not sustainable or fair to the city residents.

Teton County nonprofits struggle to maintain stability because they have to rely on uncertain donations and grants. There is a lack of consistent coordination among the various recreation-oriented nonprofits.

How will the money be spent?

Maintenance and improvement of parks, ball fields, pathways, Kotler ice arena and recreation on the Teton River.  Help to provide new facilities and capabilities such as a shooting range, park and parking at the new Teton Creek Corridor trail access, and soccer fields. Provide operations and maintenance support to an aquatic and recreation center if built.    

Is this just to fund a pool?

The rec district will not provide capital costs to build a pool. If a pool is built, funds from the Recreation District could be used along with user fees to support operations and maintenance. 

Why can’t you fix the roads first?

Recreation district revenues cannot be spent on road maintenance and repairs.

How will this affect existing non-profits?

The district would serve as a hub for recreation non-profits, helping with resources to allow volunteers and staff to focus on their mission.  The district would be able to provide funding to nonprofits through a grant process.  If requested, the district could provide administrative, technical, and grant writing support to nonprofits.  The district would not take over any work that a recreation-related nonprofit currently does,  unless requested by the nonprofit.   

Why can’t this be only a tourist tax?

The State of Idaho does not currently allow counties to assess visitor and Lodging tax. Currently, only the 3 cities in Teton County can assess such a tax.  

How will this affect ag land?

Based on the current average agricultural taxed value, the tax would be $0.23/year/acre or $23/year/100 acres $230/year/1000 acres. Agricultural land is taxed at value based on rent or by crop production instead of a market rate.

Why don’t we just apply for grants?

There are several government and recreation grant programs for which recreation districts could compete. However, it is extremely difficult to find grants that cover annual operating and maintenance expenses. A dedicated governmental structure, provided by a recreation district, would give the ability to compete for grants and programs on an equitable basis. When a recreation district is up and running, grants/donations are one leg of a 3-legged funding stream which also includes recreation district taxes and user fees.

How will a recreation district strengthen our families & community?

Good recreation programs increase the happiness, self-confidence and health of all participants. They also give children opportunities for emotional and physical development that help them grow into productive citizens. By sharing recreational activities, families become closer and community members are brought together.

Recreation improves health, reduces stress, increases self-esteem and improves the quality of life for individuals, families and communities. Recreation programs are designed to support healthy family and community values. In the statute governing recreation districts in Idaho, it states the following: “DECLARATION OF PUBLIC BENEFIT. Providing adequate recreation facilities for public use is hereby declared to be a public benefit, use and purpose which enhances the value and quality of life and which materially assists in correcting or eliminating many social ills such as delinquency, crime, excessive use of alcohol, drug abuse and discrimination.”

How will improved access to recreational activities help our youth?

Active participation in recreation activities encourages good friendships, self-esteem, and recognition of the value of teamwork and cooperation. Sports and recreation activities will not guarantee that every kid will stay out of trouble and be mentally and morally healthy. However, these activities provide a positive outlet and direction for the enormous physical and emotional energy that young people have.

How will property owners vs. renters be affected?

The recreation district tax will be assessed on all dwelling units, regardless of whether the owner lives on the premises or not. Although the landlord is responsible for paying the tax, they will certainly include that expense when determining their rental rates,

Why did you decide to include the entire county into the recreation district?

Although we are aware you can draw the boundaries of a recreation district however you like, we feel like Teton County is a strongly knit community and we all share the same resources. All of the valley’s current recreation facilities are used by Victor, Driggs, and Tetonia residents alike, and it seemed appropriate to include everyone who lived in the valley 

Teton Valley Parks and Recreation District

Where Could the Money Be Spent?

35% > Existing Facilities: Maintenance & Improvement to existing facilities

  • Address backlog of parks maintenance 
  • Upgrade City Parks in Driggs, Victor and Tetonia
  • Parking lot improvements and winter plowing

38% > Programs: Coordination, Expansion & Improved Access

  • Grants to support recreation program operations 
  • River management
  • Support operations of current and future recreation facilities
  • Current nonprofits that would like administrative assistance with registrations, field scheduling, need-based scholarships, finding volunteers, and other administrative tasks
  • Ambassador program for trailheads and boat ramps
  • Additional grooming 

20% > New Facilities: 

  • Trailhead Facilities
  • Shooting range facility
  • Tennis/PickleBall Courts 
  • City/County pathway expansion 
  • Shoshoni Park build out
  • Acquisition of additional land for new parks

7% > Recreation Planning & Administration

  • required staffing for recreation programs, operations, and park maintenance.