City Government

“NO” Means “We’re Coming At You Again And We Need To Change The Law To Make It Easier To Tax”

Mayor Dave Bieter spoke to the Chamber of Commerce “Leadership Boise” this week vowing to come back for another shot at the failed bonds and working to change the Idaho Constitution to make it easier to impose taxes on citizens, according to a Boise WEEKLY report.

Bieter termed the results as “tyranny of the minority,” referring to the bond proposals failing to garner the needed 2/3 majority of votes. Had the bonds passed using the numbers from the election, the “tyranny of the minority” would have been evident indeed. A mere 15% of registered voters would have been able to impose their will upon 85%.

Also, the majority or assessed property value in Boise has NO VOTE–it is either commercial or owned by non-residents. The 2/3 majority is a safeguard against REPRESENTATION without TAXATION. Had the bonds passed, opponents wouldn’t get to keep hammering away to wear down the electorate as Bieter threatens.

The YES-YES campaign was well run, but it certainly didn’t seek to encourage a massive overall voter turnout. It aimed to get known supporters to the polls while doing little to encourage the masses to vote. The deck was stacked–just like the City Club Forum which excluded any opposing speakers. Did the Leadership Boise venue include anyone opposed to the bonds to explain the long term costs?

If Bieter doesn’t like the angle of “registered voters” versus “those who voted,” let him work on changing the recall petition signature requirement back to “20% of those who voted in the last election” from the current version which requires a whopping “20% of registered voters.”

The decent approach to any second vote would be to hold some public hearings and let the citizens determine what they want on the ballot rather than Team Dave making a unilateral decision and trying to “sell” it to a select group of supporters.

For more reasonable thoughts, see the GUARDIAN analysis of the election.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Good article.
    Aggravating, but the truth of our government is seldom anything else.
    Also, it is interesting that one who supports an Oligarchy would use a term like “tyranny of the minority”

  2. I wonder on the motivation of the companies that spent $200,000 supporting the bonds. Was it because of the fact that they were already doing business with the City of Boise and afraid of losing that business if they said no to Mayor Bieter?

  3. Rod in SE Boise
    Nov 16, 2013, 1:19 pm

    While I supported, and voted for, the bond issues, mainly as a jobs program, I do not support changing the law.

    The tyranny of the minority is very much evident in the US House of Representatives, where one man (Speaker Boehner) refuses to bring anything sensible up for a vote, even though the votes are there to pass many bills. He alone is causing great damage to our economy and to our society. Here at the local level, it doesn’t create nearly as many problems so I don’t object nearly so much to the tyranny of the minority.

  4. I voted no. I will gladly pay $2 a month instead of $1. How to get me to vote yes?
    1. Mr. Mayor, please list things you have done recently to trim the budget.
    ie: All the Boise City cars that are used for the sole purpose of commuting to and from work. I see the city logo on many white trucks/cars parked in residential driveways. I see vans with Boise Fire logos driving around town all the time, even after hours. (no, not on duty fire engines or support cars!) I see dozens of Boise Police cars parked in driveways, even in Canyon County. How much can you save in gasoline by taking away the cars and selling half of them? Start trimming the “fat” and I will gladly give you twice what you are asking for. Until then, NO WAY!

  5. Nan e mouse
    Nov 16, 2013, 4:52 pm

    Rod you crack me up. In the Hpuse, the republicans are in the majority. Just because you think it so doesn’t make it so.

    EDITOR NOTE–Not to do Rod’s bidding, but I think his message referred to speaker Boehner personally being the minority who wouldn’t let the reasonable majority–republicans and dems alike–vote on various measures.

  6. Nan e mouse
    Nov 16, 2013, 9:57 pm

    Then Dave, he should have also brought up Harry Reid who is the corresponding tyranny of the minority who refuses to bring up legislation in the senate.

    Bit I really don’t think that was his point.

  7. I am not surprised that the Mayor is going to try other approaches to raise taxes. According to the Boise City website spending has gone from $293,000,000 in 2010 to $475,000,000 in 2013. You’d think the Mayor and city council could have found $18,000,000 to fund fire station repairs, new construction, and a new training facility in the $450,000,000 of new spending they’ve generated in just the last four years.

    That brings up the next point. Why does the mayor think he needs a tax levy, tax bond or any other new funding mechanism to generate the $18,000,000 he was asking for in one of the bonds that failed on November 5th?

    According to the data on the Boise City website it looks like the mayor will have his $18,000,000 without cutting a bit of spending, or a single employee. How? The 3% property tax increase, which Boise apparently takes every year. That property tax increase allowed by state law will generate $14,250,000 in 12 months. That means that over the next 15 months there will be $18,000,000 in brand new revenue that the city can budget for the new fire training center, repairs to existing stations and any other fire station construction they laid out in the bond.

    Problem solved. That is unless the fire station issues are not really the emergency that the Mayor and the “Yes Yes” campaign said they are. These new tax dollars should go to the so-called “emergency” outlined in the “Yes Yes” campaign Bond rhetoric and not for some other spending like additional studies of the “trolley folly.”

    That means we could have all fire station facilities paid for and built by about April 2015 without passing another bond or levy.

  8. I must wonder if Dave Bieter has perhaps read about Mayor Tom Dale being bounced out of office by the voters of Nampa in the last election. If he has not bothered to read the papers, he had best sit up and take a little notice.

    Big time spending, pandering to the Nampa Police Department, and using the Nampa Police Department and the Nampa prosecutors as revenue collectors and a profit center has not served him well. Well, that is if he wanted a third term as mayor!!

    The voters of Nampa finally realized that the spending and overpolicing and overprosecuting resulted in a repulsive, repugnant, and putrid stink over the Nampa.

    Perhaps Bieter should review Tom Dale’s failed playbook!!

  9. Rod in SE Boise
    Nov 18, 2013, 12:48 pm

    Reid is the majority leader in the Senate and he brings bills and treaties up for votes and even sometines loses.

  10. Does the mayor think of other minority groups such as Hispanics, homosexuals and the disabled as tyrants? Does he possibly hate them as much as he hates those “tyrants” who didn’t vote for his pet projects?

    Who is the real tyrant, the person who takes your money or the person who tries to keep their own money. I say the Mayor is the tyrant and to prove it now that he lost, he wants to change the rules so he can win.

    I will be giving my “buck a month” to the next viable challenger to the Mayor and doubling my Boise Guardian annual donation to fund local government transparency.

  11. It makes me chuckle that these knuckleheaded politicians scream about the “tyranny of the minority” when it was that same slim slice of voters who kept them in office in the first place!! And I echo the sentiment of other posters: Boise needs to cut its budget. This is the ONLY municipal taxing district that hasn’t forgone the 3% tax increase during the recession. And no, not mowing parks in hopes people won’t notice does NOT qualify as reducing the budget, Mayor Bieter.

  12. Love Boise: Bieter and the gang have done nothing to trim the budget. They love to spend, and not very wisely. They didn’t even notice the recession, just kept raising taxes every year and won’t stop unless they are booted out of office. JJ: totally agree with you

  13. Interested Citizen
    Dec 5, 2013, 1:52 pm

    Monkey see, monkey do, as Canyon County did. Two more strikes and the bond issues are out and dead.

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