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KC Dem Club–on-line only: ID Legislators Bedke and Necochea–taxes

Note: Due to the surge of COVID-19 cases in Idaho, this week’s meeting is once again offered online only. This arrangement will continue until further notice.

The topic this week is tax policy enacted in the 2021 Legislative Session. A session that was long on time and short on accomplishments. For a progressive view, we will hear from Lauren Necochea. Lauren is the Assistant Minority Leader. She was interviewed by Idaho Reports on May 28, 2021. In the interview, she offers her assessment of the recently enacted tax law. We will also watch a similar interview with House Speaker Scott Bedke. His session with the reporter preceded Necochea’s. Watch their contrasting assessments online this Friday at noon. Once you see both interviews, you can accurately gauge who understands our tax laws and who is really representing Idaho homeowners.

We distribute a Zoom link for our club meeting on the Thursday prior to the meeting date. To request the link or assistance getting connected, contact Phil at pjwmia@aol.com.

Also, find videos of past Club meetings at KootenaiCountyDemClub.com/Meeting Videos.

Uneven Effects of Property Tax Legislation

Taxes are something we all love to hate. Yet, tax revenue is necessary for a well-functioning government to exist. Here in Idaho the ability for local governments to raise and collect taxes is not free from state influence. In fact, the state has considerable power to set limitations on local tax authorities. For example, the 2021 Legislature wrote and passed H389, a bill that raises property tax exemptions throughout the state. Although, the idea of an added tax break for homeowners sounds appealing on the surface, the actual benefit is marginal at best. The true beneficiaries are large property owners and businesses.

The law also caps how local governments raise revenue through property taxes. As a result, regardless of the impacts of new growth, collecting tax revenue from property will be restricted. The lost revenue from this policy will affect local public services including emergency responders, libraries, and public parks. These changes come at a time when Idaho including Kootenai County is experiencing unbridled expansion. So, the question is, what can be done to properly address state and local tax policy in ways that share the tax burden fairly and equitably between all stakeholders.

We may all have different opinions, but we must draw our conclusions from a consistent set of facts. Learn the facts and be informed on how this legislation affects you personally.

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