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Idaho governor issues veto on property tax bill

Screenshot from YouTube video
The governor released a video explaining his veto.

Brad Little says the property tax relief bill is too complicated, filled with unrelated items

Idaho Governor Brad Little has vetoed a property tax bill that he says will hurt public schools and some of his other priorities.

The governor released a video after releasing his veto message, using air quotes as he called the bill “property tax relief.”

“House Bill 292 is a hodgepodge of policy items intermingled with property tax,” he said. “House Bill 292 presents negative, harmful impacts on election dates, public defense funding, online sales tax collections, local government sales tax distributions, and funding for transportation.”

One item in that: it eliminates the March election date for supplemental school levy and school bond measures, something school districts have protested.

Some legislators say the state has significantly increased funding for public education and that there’s little need for school districts for seek supplemental funding through local property taxes.

Little touted his — and past recent legislatures’ — record on tax relief, saying they’ve returned about $2.7 billion through a variety of measures, from income tax rebates and flattening the state income tax to lowering payroll taxes for businesses. He called on the legislature to write one simple bill providing for property tax rebates without loading it up with a variety of unrelated measures.

The Idaho Education Association released a statement supporting the governor’s veto.

“It is imperative that the Legislature pass a property tax relief for Idahoans without creating even more uncertainty for public school financing in the process,” said IEA President Layne McInelly. “Additionally, lawmakers’ lack of political will to tackle a backlog of more than $1 billion in school facilities needs this legislative session forces school districts and taxpayers to continue muddling through with an ad hoc mix of funding that creates uncertainty and inequity.”

The property tax bill was approved in both chambers by veto proof margins. House Speaker Mike Moyle told Idaho Education Newsthat he hopes both chambers override the governor’s veto. But it also reports the Senate quickly approved a bill that addressed some of the governor’s concerns.

The House will return to work today after a three-day weekend meant to give the Senate a day to clear a backlog of bills.

Doug Nadvornick has spent most of his 30+-year radio career at Spokane Public Radio and filled a variety of positions. He is currently the program director and news director. Through the years, he has also been the local Morning Edition and All Things Considered host (not at the same time). He served as the Inland Northwest correspondent for the Northwest News Network, based in Coeur d’Alene. He created the original program grid for KSFC. He has also served for several years as a board member for Public Media Journalists Association. During his years away from SPR, he worked at The Pacific Northwest Inlander, Washington State University in Spokane and KXLY Radio.