When Sen. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint, and Rep. Dennis Lake, R-Blackfoot, made their presentation to legislative leaders this afternoon about the outcome of the interim committee they chaired – which is proposing major property tax relief – Senate President Pro-Tem Robert Geddes, R-Soda Springs, started it off by telling her, “Sen. Keough, I’ll run the gavel if you promise to keep your shoes on.”
That was a reference to Keough’s calming of a rowdy Sandpoint hearing over the summer, when Keough famously pulled off her navy-blue pump and banged it on a table to restore order. “The operative word there is gavel – you have one, I didn’t have one,” she responded.
Keough said the committee’s final report will be hitting legislators’ mailboxes soon, but noted that with residential property taxes rising more quickly than any other category, the committee heard an earful from about 1,500 people around the state at its dozen public hearings.
Among the questions members of leadership from both parties had for the committee co-chairs: How losses to schools from reductions in property taxes would be made up.
“Job well done,” Newcomb told Keough and Lake at the end of their presentation. “And I think my conclusion from your efforts is that Sen. Keough and Rep. Lake, you’re going to have to serve in the Legislature forever, because you know too much about property taxes, and we can’t afford to see you take that knowledge away.”
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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