Idaho Holiday Wish List for Elected Officials
I don't know if one would describe this time of year between holidays as a slow down, but for people who don't work in retail, shipping, and receiving, the time between Thanksgiving through the New Year is historically a time filled with vacations and time away from the office.
In honor of the upcoming holiday season, we thought we'd put together our Christmas Wish List for legislators and candidates for public office. Many of you will see some old favorites. Is it asking too much for our elected officials to work for their constituents?
Whether you're a Republican or Democrat, Idaho's property taxes must be reformed. The state continues to grow, which is good. However, Idahoans fear they will lose their homes due to the annual property tax increase. Once Canyon County resident told us that his property taxes rose twenty-eight percent in one year. 2022 has to be the year where the legislators and governor agree on real reform that will allow Idahoans to stay in their homes.
Another sensitive issue is Idaho's grocery tax. Years ago, politicians pledged to end the state's tax on groceries. Idaho's tax on food is six percent. The Gem State is one of six states that tax food impacted lower-income families. Legislators have been reluctant to fully eliminate the tax arguing that a grocery 'tax credit' offsets the tax on most Idahoans.
Idaho has historically been one of the most expensive states to buy gasoline in. Why not, at the very least, commission a committee to look into ways the state can help make gas prices more affordable? Pain at the pump is another nonpartisan issue. Currently, the Gem State ranks as the eighth most expensive state for fuel.
Governor Little, along with legislative leaders, have proudly told us how much money is in the state coffers. Idaho is a long way from when the state had to dip into its rainy day fund to pay residents during the Great Recession. Why not use some of that surplus to revitalize the state's water system. Only Speaker Bedke has announced a plan that would enlarge the aquifers that provide much-needed water to Idahoans during the long hot desert summers.
In the spirit of the holidays, lets hope our political leaders will step up and serve their constituents.