In early November, the Idaho Supreme Court ruled the city of Lewiston’s stormwater fee unconstitutional because it qualified as a hidden tax, as it was not previously authorized by the Idaho legislature. The fee — levied in 2008 — was based on impervious surface area. However in 2009, a local state college, port, school district, irrigation district, and Nez Perce County filed a lawsuit against Lewiston. In Idaho, local governments cannot tax one another, so by classifying the stormwater fee as a tax, the plaintiffs would not have to pay.
The ruling was made in part because the Idaho Supreme Court classified the fee as revenue-generating and because the city charged property owners regardless of whether they used the stormwater system.