Here's a sign of the times: Legislation that makes a one-word change in the law regarding annual adjustments in the homeowner's exemption from property tax won unanimous approval in the House today. The reason for the change? As House Tax Chairman Dennis Lake, R-Blackfoot, explained to the House today, "Back in the heady days of 2005, the assumption was made that home values will always go up." So the law tying the amount of the homeowner's exemption to the Idaho Housing Index said that changes will match "the annual increase in the Idaho housing price index." The one-word bill, HB 4, proposed by the state Tax Commission, changes the word "increase" to "change." That way, if values go down, the exemption, too, would go down.
Short takes and breaking news from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.