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Public Statements

Issue Position: Taxes

Issue Position

Location: Unknown

Our tax policy must treat all Idahoan's fairly . No more tax breaks for special interests at your expense.

Property Taxes

Residential home values rose four times faster than any other property classes from 2000 to 2005. To address this the legislature passed a minor ($25,000) increase in the Homeowner's Exemption (even that was a struggle to get passed). You, the homeowner, have been left out of the property tax equation.

In 2006 then the Governor Risch and the legislative majority figured it was pay back time to the special interests. They passed a bill that raised the sales tax 20% to pay for a tax cut for special interests (2/3rds of the cut went to properties other than owner occupied homes). Unfortunately almost 70% of sales tax is paid by individuals (remember all those exemptions for special interests) so you now pay annually for the tax cut for special interests.

The gap between what the property tax for schools would have collected and what the sales tax brings in has grown from $50 million in 2006 to over $160 million today. That is $160 million less to educate our children. That represents over 5,000 teacher salaries (and smaller class sizes). Facing deep cuts to public schools it would be nice to have that money back!

We must have property tax relief for homeowners - not special interests. This means an increase in the Homeowner's Exemption to $150,000.

It is time to rebalance the scale in your favor.

Senator Werk works for you in the Senate

Other Taxes

With an early 20th century tax code Idaho is primed to remain an early 20th century economy. Special interests rule the roost and pick the pockets of Idaho citizens and of our economy for almost $1 billion each year. This madness must come to an end!

Tax Exemptions

For the last six years I have submitted legislation to require the expiration of all tax exemptions so that every special interest is required to come before the people and justify their special tax treatment. If the exemption makes sense (creates jobs and enhances our economy) then we can keep it. If it doesn't then we scrap it and dedicate those funds to building a 21st century economy or lowering the overall tax rate.

Tax on Food

The tax on food must be eliminated! We are one of only eight states that tax food. This is a punishing tax on our lower and fixed income families. Increasing the food tax credit just is not enough. This is a half measure. Idahoan's need relief at the cash register. We must eliminate the tax on food now and forever.

All Idahoan's must be taxed fairly with all groups picking up their fair share. The shift of taxes to the middle class must end!

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