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Dead, dead, dead - times seven

The House Revenue & Taxation Committee officially killed seven homeowner property-tax relief bills this morning, opting instead to call for an interim committee to study the issue and develop proposals for next year.

Meanwhile, North Idaho folks are planning to rally for property tax reform Thursday on the courthouse steps at 5:15 p.m., with red, white and blue balloons and plenty of outrage. There are loud rumblings about a voter initiative.

Rep. George Sayler, D-Coeur d’Alene, who proposed one of the bills, joined the committee’s other three Democrats in opposing their summary dismissal. “I feel a little caught in the middle here,” he said. Sayler said he wants to trust that the interim committee will bring about real change. But, he said, “Even as we speak, in my hometown there’s a demonstration going on on the courthouse steps on this very issue.”

House Minority Leader Wendy Jaquet, D-Ketchum, said, “I was hoping that we could do at least one of these bills to show that we are concerned. … I am discouraged that we were not able to get at least one of these bills out of here.”

Committee Chairwoman Dolores Crow, R-Nampa, said, “I can see no better way to do it in a focused manner and not a piecemeal manner, than to do it in this committee that will deal only with that one subject. We’ve had these bills in here for years. It’s such a complicated matter. It’s easy to pass a bill. The hard part is to plug the hole that’s created.”

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Eye On Boise

News, happenings and more from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.