EDITOR NOTE–THE FOLLOWING IS A GUARDIAN READER CONTRIBUTION — NOT AN ENDORSEMENT OR PRESS RELEASE FROM THE SUBJECT GROUP
When charismatic Idaho Property Tax Reform Vice Chairman Charlie Pottenger spoke to a frenzied crowd of about 60 energetic seniors, at a Boise meeting on February 9, he had plenty of support to put a Prop 13-style one percent initiative on the ballot.
“An initiative limiting property taxes to one percent of the January 2005 value or the transaction price of the property.”
Pottenger argued it’s better to do something, even if it is imperfect than do nothing and have people forced out of their homes by skyrocketing property taxes. The reformers say the initiative can deliver stable, predictable, property taxes.
The devil is in the details. Idaho commercial real estate is assessed differently than residential property. Residential assessments have been increasing many times faster than commercial property. The system is now out of whack, with residential property owners paying much more than their fair share.
This initiative could solidify this imbalance. Also, the legislature could easily step in and make things even worse for residential property-taxpayers, because the initiative takes away the homeowners’ exemption. There is no telling whether our legislators will be in the mood to give it back if they start tinkering with the law created by this initiative.
Selling this idea to voters will be easy for this group. Collecting the necessary 47,881 valid signatures will be harder since this means they will have to have about 60,000 to account for the ones that are declared invalid.
NOTE TO SIGNERS OF ANY PETITION EVER
If you have moved since you last registered to vote, re-register at the new address before signing any petition or your signature will not count.
Tax reform link. Or call Randy Miller in Nampa at 467-5641 or 880-3550.
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