The Idaho attorney general has issued an opinion that a taxpayer sponsored petition to limit property taxes is unconstitutional.
Larry Wasden is absolutely right. Our state constitution mandates equality in tax rates. There are also plenty of exemptions as well, but the petition–all 100 pages–called for different rates for different property. No can do.
Folks are really frustrated that residential property values are skyrocketing, so tax bills also increase even though the percentage RATE remains the same. The problem is created by a red hot housing market fueled by growth. Oldtimers are funding a degrading of their lifestyle against their will.
The GUARDIAN has a simple answer that needs to be taken seriously–apply the 5% sales tax to sale of new construction. Dedicate the revenues to the same agencies currently levying property taxes. BINGO! Instant impact fees with no complicated formula or exemptions. The tax wonks can wrangle over the definition of “new” but anything with a building permit will consume services and growth should pay its own way.
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