[Vision2020] Idaho's budget - Governor visits Latah County

Tom Hansen thansen at moscow.com
Tue Sep 22 11:37:39 PDT 2009

Rep. Ringo -

I believe that this was discussed a while ago, but merely as a passing

How about meticulously scrutinizing the property tax breaks being given to

If I remember correctly, the primary reason these tax breaks were given to
corporations is . . .

As corporations migrate to Idaho, the job market increases, subsequently
providing jobs to more and more Idahoans.

Well . . .

How about the job market, huh?

Tom "currently between careers" Hansen
Moscow, Idaho

> Shirley:
> Do you see any opportunity here to eliminate some of the sales tax
> exemptions -- as an alternative to further cuts or tax increases?
> BL
>   ----- Original Message -----
>   From: Shirley Ringo
>   To: vision2020 at moscow.com
>   Sent: Tuesday, September 22, 2009 9:55 AM
>   Subject: [Vision2020] Idaho's budget - Governor visits Latah County
>   Visionaries:
>   You have read about Idaho's revenue shortfalls.  Governor Otter has
> asked agency directors to tell what cuts they would make in the event of
> a budget holdback.  He has asked them to be clear about how their
> programs would be affected.
>   On Wednesday, September 16, I attended a meeting in which the Governor
> discussed issues related to the budget.   The dollar amounts for
> holdbacks of 6% and 3% for each agency were provided.  Governor Otter
> has indicated that he will not consider a tax increase.  He has
> expressed a willingness to recommend using approximately half of
> remaining reserve funds, but significant holdbacks would still be
> necessary.
>   Budgets set in the most recent legislative session can be described as
> austere.  It might be noted that leaders in other states are considering
> ideas such as an income tax surcharge on individuals with higher incomes
> to gain revenue to protect vital programs.
>   In 2008, the Grocery Tax Credit was increased to $30/person for some,
> $50 for others.  (More for those of age 65 or older.)  These amounts are
> to increase by $10 per year until they reach the amount of $100 per
> person.  The cost of that increase for next year is about $15.5 million
> dollars.  There have been discussions about freezing the buildup of the
> grocery tax credit until state revenues are stronger.  (Governor Otter
> has not said he would support such a move. )
>   In 2006, a majority of legislators voted to shift mandatory property tax
> support for public schools to the general funds.  This requires public
> schools to compete with other entities for those monies.  At the time,
> the promise was to "protect education" by raising the sales tax from 5%
> to 6%.  The notion of increasing the grocery tax credit helps those who
> would struggle with the regressive sales tax.  The cost of the higher
> grocery tax credit erodes about half of the state revenue gained by
> raising the sales tax to protect education.
>   What would you recommend to handle the revenue shortfall?  Further
> reductions of agency budgets, including K-12 and higher education?  Use
> all or part of the reserve funds?  Find ways to increase revenue?  A
> combination of these ideas?
>   Governor Otter will be in Kendrick tomorrow (September 23) from 9 AM to
> 3 PM.  He will be at the Kendrick fire station - adjacent to the city
> park.  This is your opportunity to voice your opinion directly to him.
>   Shirley Ringo (883-1005, 301-2272)
>   Please contact me if you have questions.
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"The Pessimist complains about the wind, the Optimist expects it to change
and the Realist adjusts his sails."

- Unknown

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