Former Idaho Congressman Larry LaRocco, who is running for lieutenant governor, has countered his November opponent’s property tax relief proposal with his own four-point plan. LaRocco wants to increase the homeowner’s exemption from property tax to at least $100,000; reduce the sales tax on groceries by at least 2-1/2 cents, spend $50 million of the current state budget surplus on school construction and repair; and allow impact fees to be charged on new construction to fund new or expanded schoolhouses.
“My four-point plan will positively affect every Idaho family and reduce the property tax burden of all Idaho homeowners,” LaRocco said.
LaRocco faces current Gov. Jim Risch in the November election for the lieutenant governor’s seat, in an odd twist that is creating the shortest gubernatorial term in Idaho history. Risch was inaugurated Friday as Idaho’s 31st governor, but will serve only until the end of the year, when he’ll seek a second term as lieutenant governor. In his inaugural address, Risch called on lawmakers to bring him a deal to replace the current property tax levy for school operations with other state funds in order to reduce property taxes, and said if they do so, he’ll call a special session of the Legislature.
LaRocco held a press conference just before Risch’s inaugural in a retired Boise couple’s backyard, and said “it is abundantly clear the current political leadership knows that a voter revolt grows daily over the increased property taxes residential property owners must pay.”
LaRocco also has been campaigning hard on the issue of targeting methamphetamine abuse; Risch, in his inaugural remarks, said he’ll name a state “drug czar” within 60 days.