Internet sales tax harms Main Street
Small businesses are the backbone of Idaho's economy.
We create jobs. We are the entrepreneurs. We belong to the Rotary, the Lions, the PTA. We help build our local communities.
But we are under attack. We are being threatened by impending Internet sales tax legislation, favoring big businesses. It aims to destroy small online retailers by forcing us to collect and pay sales tax for every sale, from every customer, most every state, every month.
Big businesses have accounting departments and other such resources, which help with compliance.
We are small businesses, often just one person trying to support a family. Our small online businesses can't possibly be expected to act as tax collectors for 9,600 different tax jurisdictions nationwide, every month.
Join us in asking Idaho's congressional delegation to support small Main Street businesses everywhere and insist that Internet sales tax legislation not be passed.
WAYNE D. JOHNSON, Caldwell
Personal property tax should stay
Repealing the business personal property tax is a terrible idea.
If a community loses a large part of its funding for safety, health and education, why would any business want to open or expand there?
Higher taxes on homes and business property can't replace a large loss. School boards, cities and counties are against the repeal. Smaller communities have been hit hard by the great recession. It is unconscionable to consider removing a major source of their survival.
A better solution is to exempt the first $100,000 in business personal property from the tax. This would cover at least 85 percent of all Idaho businesses, while not harming counties and smaller cities.
Total repeal is a gift to large corporations. Even some of them, like Monsanto and Chobani, are against it. They understand the harm it would cause to the communities where their employees live.
Call, write or email your representative. It takes just a few minutes. Your voice is important.
ANNE OLDEN, Boise
See who benefits from tax repeal
I'd love to see some investigative journalism from the Statesman. You could start by listing which of our state legislators will benefit by legislation they propose or vote for.
I suspect nearly all of them will benefit from dropping the business property tax, while nearly all of the rest of us will have to pay more through local option taxes to take up the slack.
And now Gov. Otter wants to give state money to ranchers to train them to fight fires? Isn't he a rancher? Why can't they fund this themselves?
They certainly have the resources to do this without using public funds.
SUSAN HOOK, Boise
Teachers have reason for despair
I read the comments from Rep. Reed DeMordaunt ("Legislature's auditor defends teacher report," Feb. 18). It appears to me that reporter Dan Popkey assaulted his character.
Rep. DeMordaunt, chair of the House Education Committee, questioned a study by the Legislature's Office of Performance Evaluations (OPE) that revealed "a strong undercurrent of despair among teachers who seem to perceive a climate that disparages their efforts and belittles their contributions."
Why would Idaho's public school educators feel despair after all this legislator and others have done to them?
While it is true the public threw out Propositions 1, 2 and 3, which DeMordaunt strongly supported, the public surely was wrong about the laws but right about returning him to office.
My advice to DeMordaunt: Please continue to shut out the voices of those with whom you disagree, teachers and the OPE, which thoroughly vetted the "despair" phrase.
As director of OPE Mohan said, "If we don't say it, who else would? We have to tell the truth in the best possible way that we can."
Rep. DeMordaunt has power with his position. Cannot he and his friend Sen. Goedde, chair of the Senate Education Committee, get rid of Mohan, this dupe for truth?
TERRY GILBERT, Boise
Some jobs should be left to feds
The Forest Service's refusal to allow privatization within the Clearwater-Nez Perce forest should remind us that our federal government is best for some jobs.
In August, Kelly Creek fishermen found private property signs at their fishing holes. A huckleberry picker was threatened by an armed man, informed she was trespassing and ordered to leave. Some of the 52 "gold miners," with their recently purchased claims, pressed the Forest Service to open roads so they could move trailer houses on "their land."
The Forest Service removed the signs, informed the "miners" they had no right to impede others, and like everybody, they must move camp every 18 days no trailer houses. They requested an administrative hearing to ban mining as it is in gross conflict with current activities (mainly fishing).
Gov. Otter sold out Highway 12 to foreign oil without public notice. Are public interests as important to Otter as his desire to cozy-up to business? Would state agencies that care little about two-headed fish in the Snake River care about the North Fork of the Clearwater?
Dedicated Forest Service employees are working to ensure the upper North Fork and other areas remain unspoiled and accessible. Keep up the good work!
RON HANES, Orofino