Dump on Dirk

Legislative season brings out all the kooks with weird ideas and it looks like Gov. Dirk is doing his best to lead the pack. No other way to put it folks, we are being deluged with bad ideas.


–Gov Dirk wants to buy about $2 million worth of bare ground around the J.R. Simplot “free” governor’s mansion, noting that if the state doesn’t buy the land it will be developed full of houses–this from the guy who encourages people and businesses to move to Idaho, but NOT IN MY BACK YARD!

–Statesman headline proclaims “Parks plan could boost Idaho tourism.” Gov Dirk wants to put $34 million into something dubbed “Experience Idaho Initiative.” Does he envision an autoworker in Detroit opening a magazine and saying, “Look Lucy! They have six state parks in Idaho. Let’s load up the kids and go boost tourism!” State parks are nice, they need to be maintained, enjoyed, and perhaps even expanded. They will NOT boost tourism.

–Property taxes are a “local issue” according to Gov Dirk and he sees no reason for the state to get involved in any type of tax relief for property owners…he just wants to keep adding to the growth that causes the problem and continue to pay $5 a year for his own Valley County land tax.

–Every man woman and child in the state will get $50 for “heating bills” under a Gov Dirk proposal? The guy with the sign at the supermarket parking lot offering to work for food can make that in a good afternoon.

–Idaho is at the top of the list for new job s created and places to locate your business, but at the bottom in wages. Duh! Welcome to the new China—low cost labor and a middle class willing to subsidize big business. Oh, did we mention Idaho is one of the worst states in the country for emergency medical care?

–Dr. Bob at BSU wants a a community college in Boise (isn’t that what Boise Junior College was?) for a start up cost of $5 million in state funds. The kicker is that local counties would pay up to $3,000 per student to the state (BSU) while they attend the community college. It doesn’t take a political science prof to tell you the counties will not be donating to BSU when Gov Dirk won’t help out on property tax relief!

–Then there is legislator Bob Geddes’ plan to solve the overcrowding problem in Idaho prisons with a “night shift” plan where prisoners would share beds. Isn’t that the way it works now anyway? He thinks double bunking would be a good idea!! Not only will it take twice as much prison staff, EVERYONE will have to register and have their picture on the sheriff’s website.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. a) Purchasing the adjacent land to the Simplot “mansion” is ludicrous. The expansion of the house from 5000 to 12000 square feet (whatever!) is nothing short of the worst kind of conspicuous consumption…is it REALLY necessary (or even bright) to entertain a thousand people in a home? See, I think about heating this monstrosity with windows all around. Anyway, our legislators need to say NO..and not only no but …well you know, NO!

    b) I love Parks and maybe there is more merit to this than the guardian assigns. I think States with outstanding State Park systems do attract tourists…My family looks at this when planning family vacations. If we can travel where there are numerous parks with consistent amenities it does make a difference as to our planning. But, in times when there are other priorities…the tourism will not likely offset the lack of good sense.

    c) This property tax thing just makes me mad. I don’t always agree with Sharon Ullman (mostly I think her abrasive beyond efficacy)…but she nailed it in the Idaho Statesman. Representative Delores Crowe from Nampa deserves(d) to be recalled over this very issue. There are solutions to be had and many can only be effected at the State level. To ignore that is malfeasance. I think the democrats could take every seat after this session if they let the (R)s have their way this time on these universal issues.

    d) Fifty bucks ….big deal. It’s better than nothing, but I am not a big proponent of tokenism..and this is the dictionary definition of tokenism. Doing something insignificant and trivial in similitude of something really meaningful. GAG!

    e)Yeah $5.25 an hour means there are 170 homeless people living in campgrounds in Boise County this winter. It means young people rely on BIC loans for first time homebuyers where they get in for no money down and then let the home go back when they can’t make the payments…I mean they really aren’t stakeholders, so why not?

    f)For many years, if students wished to attend a Community College and their home of record County was without a Community College, the County has paid the tuition of the students. I can’t tell you what law it is, I just know it is the case. However, I think few parents or students out there know about it, so Counties get off easy. At least the money stays in Ada County, so I guess I will concede this or at least be apathetic (I need apathy…it’s the only thing keeping me from a stroke). I know this is a long post and I don’t want to be lumped in the same bin with Jerry Jones, but blowing off steam is almost better than apathy.

  2. The Community College hit my hot button!

    Gov. Kempthorne’s proposal for a state wide system of community colleges will have a major impact on our property tax if it should go through. I have listed several statements from the article in the Statesman of Wed. Jan. 11, 2006.

    First, Kempthorne is asking for $5 million from State funds for “startup money.” He states that this new system “will benefit hundreds of students who can’t afford to go on to a four year college or don’t meet academic requirements for a university.”

    In addition to State money, BSU’s Community College also would raise revenue through a system of chargebacks in which students’ home counties would contribute up to $500 per semester for each student attending the community college.

    For example, Gem County would pay about $500 a semester to the community college for every student attending from that county. The maximum would be $3000 per student while they are in community college. ( A two year program)

    This plan does not envision campus buildings, initially, but buildings will have to come eventually. This is just a starting point. It is also more burden on the property tax.

    BSU president, Bob Kustra, says that BSU turned away 800 students at the beginning of this year. He says a community college would have given them some place to go.

    800 students at $3000 per student amounts to 2.4 million new dollars of property taxes.

    The Statesman article goes on to report that BSU’s Canyon County campus houses about 2300 students now and could handle up to 4000 for a community college.

    This is to be paid by new property taxes. 4000 students at $3000 per student (the maximum) amount to 12 million dollars.

    Much of this money will go to students who graduated from high school but lack the knowledge to enter the university at the freshman level. In reality, the new community college program is just another high school level education and another hit on the home owners.

  3. Guardian
    Refresh my memory…. Didn’t some of your readers comment in the past about the Gov’s house remodel being paid for with donated funds?

    The Statesman article seems to indicate that they haven’t raised the 3 million needed for remodel yet. Kind of wonder what will happen if they don’t? I’m sure the State will give the gift back right?

    Also…2.1 million for 30 acres? $70,000 per acre! Old JR is still with it. He doesn’t play poker every day at the Arid club for nothing. I think its the State of Idaho that needs to wake up!

    I wonder how many of us taxpayers will ever be entertained in this “gift” (house) that JR gave us? I have a feeling we are going to be paying big bucks before it is over

  4. Dare we speak of the Unmentionable Times of Governor Andrus? Was he not a successful and respected Governor of Idaho? Would Gov. Andrus push through an illegal GARVEE bond? Would Cecil have been involved in the Univerisity Place Fiasco, would Cecil have ignored the major issue of property tax reform in State of State address? Did we ever see Gov. Andrus grip his VETO stamp and crush bills like a bipolar teen just to get his way? Would Gov. Andrus push through to buy $2 mil. worth of land behind ol’ Jack’s house? Cecil was not without fault. In comparison to current leadership….well, its up to you.

    I feel that Kempthorne is detached from reality. If he is not detached then someone needs to switch out the mushrooms from his burger, they’re the magic ones… He can’t possibly believe that Idahoans want to spend $34 million on PARKS. The park system is a slippery slope. The more you build or improve the more you must maintain; the more people you must hire; the more money you need from the state to pay for equipment and upgrades. The parks will make money for people indirectly on the service side but are a drain on our tax money. A few parks might make a profit from selling camp spots for four months out of the year.

    Support for community colleges comes from sympathy. No one wants to go to a community college. They are a last resort. Continue to let that market go the private vocational schools. They seem to be one of the few educational establishments that are turning a profit.

    Gov., don’t insult me with $50. Keep it and fill a pot hole on your Connecting Idaho Scam. Way to to WGI. Way to get that contract… Now how did that work? What did the engineers say? Not too many follow up stories on Channel 7 news…

    Not enough prison space. I know a great spot with a view and giant flag. After renovations and expansions we should be able board and entertain almost a 1000 prisoners and guests.

  5. No doubt the City Council and Mayor can find several developers to build THOUSANDS of infill condos and row houses to fill all the empty space around the hill and would smile as they approve everyone of them.

    Question – with the State of Idaho owning the “mansion” doesn’t that take the property OFF the City property tax roles?

    Editor Note– J. R. Simplot has never paid city taxes on the hillside mansion! He didn’t want to be in Boise City and petitioned the council to be “de-annexed” and they let him off the hook.

  6. The Governor’s proposal on property tax reform is ridiculous. The legislature needs to shift the property tax burden back toward commercial and business properties, where it belongs. Residential property owners are paying too large a share. And shifting some of that tax burden to the sales tax is not acceptable. Sales taxes, consumption taxes, and the flat tax are weapons in the Republican’s War on the Middle Class.

    Where can I get a large supply of tar and feathers?

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