Here’s my tally: 23 people testified before the House Rev & Tax Committee this morning, six of them twice, and only one out of the whole group opposed increasing the homeowner’s exemption or expanding the circuit-breaker exemption for low-income seniors. That was Idaho Farm Bureau lobbyist Russ Hendricks, who spoke against the homeowner’s exemption.
Rep. Dennis Lake, R-Blackfoot, co-chair of an interim legislative committee that held hearings on property taxes all over the state, told the House committtee, “The homeowner’s exemption is something that is foremost in people’s minds. … I think it’s become a political issue and I think it’s one that we will need to deal with.”
Boise retiree Don Bizallion told the panel, “I’m not a lobbyist, I’m just an individual, a homeowner, a property taxpayer getting eaten alive. … It’s not working.”
Charlotte Snow of Eagle, breaking into tears, told the lawmakers, “My only fault is I have land. … Basically you have taxed me out.”
The committee this morning was considering several bills to expand the circuit-breaker and increase the homeowner’s exemption. It still has two more homeowner’s exemption increase bills to go, which Chairman Dolores Crow, R-Nampa, said the panel will take up tomorrow morning at 9. No word yet on which category of bills they’ll move to next.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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