Tracking code caldwell guardian

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Local Option Tax Will Be Considered By Legislature

 By  David R. Frazier

A bill to bump up the sales tax by 1%–with voter approval–will probably surface in the coming legislative session.

 Ironic that local politicos and Chambers of Commerce favor allowing voters to approve a sales tax hike when last year they almost uniformly opposed allowing citizens to vote on long term public debt at airports and public hospitals.

The so-called “local option sales tax” is already allowed in resort towns under 10,000 population–such as McCall, Donnelly and Ketchum. The latest move is to allow the tax hike in cities of ANY size. Previously, the big issue has been the percentage of votes needed to hike the sales tax. Cities were after a simple majority to institute the tax and the legislative leaders wanted a 2/3 majority.
Here’s a thought:
Since the Idaho recall law requires 20% of REGISTERED VOTERS to sign a petition just to get a politico whom they want out of office on the ballot, why not use the same threshold for a vote on local option taxes–approval of 20% of registered voters? Good for the goose is good for the gander.
Congress currently has an approval rating of a mere 11-15% of citizens and with campaign donation laws so loose that businesses can donate massive amounts to candidates, incumbents are nearly “bulletproof.”
Local politicos run mostly unopposed, or with only token opposition–they claim it is due to voter satisfaction. The GUARDIAN suspects people are simply beaten down and apathetic. The rise of the Tea Party on the right and the Occupiers on the left attest to dissatisfaction at all levels of government.
Years ago when the legislature changed the recall petition law from “20% of those voting in the last election” to “20% of registered voters,” they made it nearly impossible to remove the bad guys. Perhaps tax hikes should be just as difficult. The recent Boise City election had a turnout well under 20% of registered voters.
Is it really wise to allow people with such a low voter approval the authority to tax and spend on the entire populace unless we can remove them from office easier than gathering signatures from 20% of registered voters?


  1. The day Caldwell and Nampa pass this new sales tax to pay for the bloated spending habit these dude's have, Ontario, OR will be my new shopping destination, or I will just buy more tax free stuff on the Internet. These guys must get some sort of orgasm by spending other peoples money!

  2. That had better be at least 20% of the registered voters AND a 2/3 majority of those voting. Lets not trip on a banana peel here.

  3. There seems to be a mutant gene in politicians that prevents them from understanding that you can't continue to spend money when you run out.Therefore we need to remind them at election time. Hopefully Mr. Dale ,Pam White and the county commisioners will learn that lesson come the next election.

  4. Thanks for the info on the recall requirements.
    Kinda gives me that sick feeling that our elected officials are trying to set up their dictatorship, and fascist like rule. Maybe on a smaller scale Nampa is becoming an "occupied" area like Europe was in the 1930's and early 1940's.

  5. Throw the Bums out, throw the Bums out, throw the Bums out. What part of "Throw The BUMS Out" do the complainers that don't bother to vote understand. I cannot understand the pathetic voter apathy and the LOW turnout in the highest taxed cities/county in Idaho. It wasn't that way when I came here. There really must be something in the water.

  6. That change is ridiculous. Let me see if I understand you correctly.
    If there are 1000 registered voters and only 190 come out to vote (19%) the the winning candidate needs only 96 votes to win (50%+1). Easy math right? But if you want to recall him you have to get at least 200 voters to sign the petition for recall to get him back on the ballot. Then when the vote comes you have to win by a 2/3 majority. So lets assume he still has his 96 voters in his pocket who helped him get elected. You would still need 193 votes against to oust him. If you remember, 190 came out in the original election. 1/2 voted each way. For the recall 193 have to vote against. That is more than the total number for and against in the first election. The legislature needs to change that law back to what it used to say cuz this is stupid.


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