I just love this. Eye on Boise does a great job reporting on IACI's bill on personal property tax. Yes, check out the possessive on that one. Anyway, the House passed the bill and now it goes to the Senate. Basically it puts into place a bill that will "... phase in a $100 million property tax break for businesses by eliminating the personal property tax on business equipment." So last year the Idaho Congress's homeowner exemption would now no longer help the individual homeowner; instead it would now go to business. Wow, if that's not a stab in the back, I'm not sure what is.
But what I love about this whole tax exemption for business owners is the rational provided by Republicans, somehow reminiscent of their stance on education, child care, and on down the line. Both Rep. Ken Roberts R-Donnelly and Rep. Scott Bedke R-Oakley argue that it is the service required by residential, rather than business like Ag and Mining and Timber, that is not paying their fair share of taxes. Excuse me, it's just individual residential citizens who need so many services? Who works for these businesses? Robots? And like what do they mean by services? Here in north Idaho, heavy trucks are not allowed on most county roads in springtime because they eat up the road so badly it has to be replaced. Think about this: if they tear up the county roads this badly, then who is primarily responsible for tearing up the highway? Cars or heavy trucks? Give me a break.....
And what other services are they talking about? Police? Hospitals? Fire? Utilities? Do we actually have Republicans in this legislature with an education?
On another, but similar note about the complete lack of comprehension on the part of Republicans, yesterday evening the local Superintendent came to our local Democratic Central Committee meeting to garner support for the Supplemental Maintenance Levy that we're to vote on this month. This guy is a Republican. He voted for Sen. Shawn Keough R-Sandpoint, Rep. George Eskridge R-Dover, and Rep. Eric Anderson R-Sandpoint, even though at a public community forum before the last election they all said they wouldn't support the 1% tax that educators and Democrats wanted for the schools. Excuse me, Superintendent Bartling, but just why are you voting for someone who works against your best interests??? Well, he had his 10 minutes of presentation and 10 minutes of questions, when I ended his visit with a reminder that Democrats support public education but that the Republican legislature, and Republicans in general, consistently vote against anything that would support our rural schools, and that even though Gov. Otter visited him in his office he hasn't been much of a leader for rural schools, and even though we have local Republicans that support education, they keep voting for the Republican wing nuts who do not support it. And for a last jab, I reminded him that Republicans supporting education have been completely ineffectual in this completely imbalanced Congress.
In full disclosure, even though I believe in public education, I have homeschooled my own child, as well as put him into the public schools. That is another story, based on the lack of choice in my small community, as well as the fact that obedience, complacence, and a short attention span seem to be more important in our local schools than the pursuit of knowledge. I do not intend to disparage the wonderful teachers we have in our community, but unfortunately we also have some really rotten apples, and in such a small community little choice is to be had.
My venture into homeschooling, however, also enlightened me a great deal. I know that Idaho has many homeschoolers, sometimes up to 30% of the community. I also know that a very distinct difference exists between homeschoolers and neglected children, who are sometimes called homeschooled. In Idaho many homeschoolers do so for religious purposes, although many of us do it without the religious influence or bias.
I disclose all this because Idaho now has a specific representative, Rep. Thayne R-Emmett, who takes quotes and ideas from homeschoolers, from writers critical of our particular system of education, and so forth, and twists them into his own idiosyncratic justification for not supporting education, and for his ideology that believes women belong in the home. I'm sure I'll have more to say on this in the future, as it irks me to have someone take solid research and then modify it for their own perverted beliefs.
I'll tell you, between Idaho public schools and the personal property tax, we have some genuine problems to tackle, and I just cannot see anything concrete being done until we put more Democrats into the Idaho Congress. Do I hear any potential candidates ready to take on this challenge? I hope I do....