Federal law would help enforce state tax laws
It is interesting that most news items about collecting sales tax on Internet sales never mention that the proposed federal law is designed to help collect tax owed by people breaking the law, not the creation of a new tax.
We are required to track our out-of-state purchases and pay the appropriate sales tax when we file our state taxes. Last year I paid $97 on about $1,600 in purchases. That shot my state tax bill up to $573! The previous year I paid $114. The Statesman reported that only 1.4 percent of Idahoans paid this tax. I would bet that few, if any, of our state legislators pay it.
The recent news about medical bills shows the similarity of their pricing to that of a car dealer - ask for some obscene price and settle for all you can get.
Only those least able to defend themselves pay the asked price. We need a single-payer Medicare-type system for all.
As for the supposed IRS scandal, 501(c)4 tax-exempt organizations are supposed to be engaged in promoting education or social welfare, not electioneering. Tea party groups don't fit within this law.
LEO E. FADDIS, Kuna
Tax paid by private pilots will help keep up airports
Idahoans embraced aviation soon after the beginning of flight; airstrips were built not only in cities but also on farms, in deserts, and in the mountains.
Now, as then, aircraft enable the quick and efficient transport of people and supplies into remote areas to fight forest fires, evacuate injured recreationists, or drop off hunters or whitewater rafters.
In these tight budget times, the Idaho Aviation Association, made up mostly of pilots of small aircraft, supported two bills recently passed by the state Legislature. One of these triples the aircraft registration tax, with the funds going to the Division of Aeronautics to help maintain Idaho's airports. Yes, private pilots will be paying higher taxes on their aircraft so they, and you, can continue to enjoy well-maintained airports here. Idaho has more backcountry airstrips than any other state except Alaska. Idahoans and Alaskans treasure the easy access they enjoy to year-round recreation in some of America's most beautiful wild places. Fishing, hunting, skiing, hiking or rafting are a big part of why we choose to live here. The Idaho Aviation Association will always work to preserve and protect Idaho's irreplaceable recreational airstrips, for all to enjoy.
CRISTA WORTHY, editor, Idaho Aviation Association publication The Flyline, Boise
Workers get no raise again
Once again, the state employees of Idaho will see no raises this year.
Thank you to all the Republicans who were against state employees making a little more than McDonald's employees. Oh, but it's great that Idaho Power Co. and big business will be getting out of paying property tax this year, not that they pay taxes to Idaho at all, in fact Idaho Power Co. is in the negative. Ha ha ha. What a joke.
I have one word for state employees - union. Also, we should all be holding our representatives accountable for this slap in the face. Stop voting these people back into office.
JENNIFER WALKER, Boise
Congress: Take steps to end the madness
Being a letter carrier for the Postal Service for over 35 years, I could easily retire right now and walk away from the major financial challenges that now face the USPS, but I don't believe in that policy.
I believe in future employees and their families providing the best service at the lowest possible cost to the people of Idaho and to the rest of the nation.
With no tax dollars being involved whatsoever, Congress can end the madness of the USPS having to pre-fund future retiree health benefits for the next 75 years, in 10 years' time, at $5.5 billion a year, which the USPS doesn't have.
Two proposed bills in Congress, S 316 in the Senate and HR 630, both called the Postal Service Protection Act, would end the prefunding requirement - which, by the way, no other agency or business has to make - return overpayments in the FERS and CSRS retirement systems, and maintain six-day delivery of mail. If passed, these bills would also keep mail-processing plants open to maintain quality service.
It just makes common sense to let the Postal Service help itself.
JOHN PAIGE, Idaho Association of Letter Carriers, Pocatello
Where's the outrage?
Last year the CBS program "60 Minutes" shamed Congress into passing legislation that banned insider trading by members of that body. During the program it was mentioned that such activities put those outside of the government in prison. Several weeks ago, at the conclusion of its program, it was mentioned that this legislation had been quietly rolled back.
If this report is correct and complete, I am surprised that there hasn't been some level of public outcry over their behavior shameful.
WILLIAM SLUPE, Boise
GRASS AND COWS
Eat what grows
Homeowners' grass for cattle feed? I say NO! Mowers leaking oil, fuel/oil residue being spent into the grass from the exhaust of worn-out mowers? Then they want to feed this to our cattle and then into us in the way of meat and milk, into us and our children.
I say NO, NO and NO! If they want to feed our grass to these animals, then have them take it naturally by eating it as it grows, not as it's mowed.
TIM L. TANTON, Boise