Of the 217 money-saving suggestions Gov. Butch Otter’s “efficiency” Web site had received by yesterday, the runaway winner was a cut in pay for the state’s top-paid officials. “Start with a 5 percent decrease in all executive pay - you too,” wrote William Weiden of Sandpoint. “Work your way down ‘til you hit employees who make less than 35 grand a year.” A Spokesman-Review analysis of the the first two weeks worth of suggestions showed that a pay cut for the highest-paid was the most popular suggestion for coping with the state’s budget crisis, with more than 5 percent of respondents making that proposal.
Raising taxes was the next-most popular choice, with five times as many people calling for hikes as for tax cuts. Citizens suggested everything from tax hikes on gas, cigarettes and booze to extending the sales tax to services and online purchases. “We need to tax services,” wrote Donna Pottratz of Hayden. “Women from Spokane come to the Coeur d’Alene Resort and get a $350 day at the spa, and pay not one dime of tax.”
Next-most popular: Consolidating Idaho’s 113 school districts. Wrote Christy Swenson of Rexburg, “I think (it) is silly to have multiple school districts in a small geographic area. I see no need for all the administrative personnel that this requires.”
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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