Once again, the House Revenue & Taxation Committee has voted down a major initiative of the new Republican governor, Butch Otter. This time, the panel voted 10-8 against passing HB 84, the bill to allow formation of a community college district by a 60 percent, rather than two-thirds, vote if the vote takes place at a general election. The bill already had been scaled back from Otter’s original proposal, which called for the 60 percent threshold if the vote took place at either the primary or the general election.
Rep. Lenore Barrett, R-Challis, said she didn’t think much of arguments that the state needs more workforce training, like that provided by community colleges. “I really find it a little offensive to imply that we’ve got a bunch of dummies out there in the workforce,” she said.
Three members of the House GOP leadership – Reps. Mike Moyle, R-Star, Scott Bedke, R-Oakley, and Ken Roberts, R-Donnelly – joined in the majority to kill the bill, and argued strenuously against it. “I think we feel pretty strongly that whenever you assess property taxes, you need to do it with a pretty high threshold,” Bedke said. “The right plan will pass at 66-2/3.”