Voter group opposes property tax repeal
The League of Women Voters of Idaho is very concerned that the Legislature may inflict significant damage on our local governments and school districts by eliminating some or all of the business personal property tax.
We believe that before the mix of taxation that supports our cities, counties and school districts is changed, careful consideration should be given to what the responsibility of the state is, whether the needs of local entities are being met, and how any change will affect them.
The league is opposed to eliminating this tax until another reliable state revenue stream is identified, and the state can meet its current obligations. We are also opposed to shifting state responsibilities to localities, when it is clear that there is an uneven ability to fund schools and local governments at the local level.
We urge citizens to tell their legislators that any change to the state tax structure must serve the interests of all citizens of Idaho. The elimination of the personal property tax and the proposed shift of costs to homeowners and small business is an unacceptable benefit for the well-connected at the expense of Idaho's future.
BETSY MCBRIDE, chair, Tax Structure Committee, Boise
STAR FIRE DISTRICT
Investigation is needed
I don't know any more about the Star Fire District situation than what I just read in the March 9 edition of the Statesman, but here's what I do know.
When you blow your budget by over 50 percent in 2010 and then follow that up by blowing your budget by over 80 percent in 2011, and you fail to have your required independent audits performed, that is not a mistake, not an accounting error, not a screw-up ... That is intentional.
Those responsible must be held personally accountable for every single one of the $1.8 million they spent or obligated over and above their budget. This is ridiculous and nothing short of a thorough, independent investigation is acceptable.
WILLIAM A. RHOADES, Star
Perpetrator should pay
Stories about harmful acts on innocent victims are favorite topics in the news these days. The Feb. 26 report in the Idaho Statesman on the loss of a trumpeter swan found in a pond near Star was particularly unwelcome. The occasional sighting of one of these beautiful creatures in our area became an anticipated and notable event. To the perpetrator, turning yourself in to authorities would be a good way for others to learn from your mistake.
LOUISE AND SID SAUNDERS, Eagle
VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
Labrador shows callous attitude
By voting against the Violence Against Women Act, Raul Labrador clearly demonstrates his cruel and callous disregard for the safety and protection of women.
His vote also confirms his unwillingness to ensure protection and justice under the law for our Native American women. These sexist and racist attitudes are not to be condoned. They do not represent the values of the majority of our citizens, as we strive to build a fair and humane society.
Raul Labrador defends his vote against the bill by expressing his disapproval about the procedures used to bring the bill to the floor of the House of Representatives for a vote, saying, "It's a huge concern."
The bill was rightfully brought to the floor and passed with bi-partisan support. When parliamentary procedure and political maneuvering takes precedence over the vastly more important concern for the welfare of women, it is time for Idaho voters to replace Mr. Labrador with someone else who will promote the general welfare of women and minorities.
SANDRA E. DEUTCHMAN AND PHILIP A. DEUTCHMAN, Sandpoint
A parent's sacrifice
I would like to comment on the letter about Catholic schools being for the rich. That's not true. My great-grandson goes to Catholic school. His mom is a single mother and works very hard to have her son in a Catholic school. She does not have a college education, she just wants a good education for her son.
KATHY AMLIN, Boise