Among those speaking in favor of the local-option amendment was Rep. Pat Takasugi, R-Wilder, who said, “I think it’s good for rural, it’s good for urban, and I would urge your support for the amendment.” Said Rep. Wendy Jaquet, D-Ketchum, “Some places in the state might want to put this to their local voters, and some might not want to.” Rep. JoAn Wood, R-Rigby, speaking against the amendment, said, “This amendment is hostile to the original intent of the bill. The original intent of the bill was to provide a fund for preservation. … It really should have come before our committee as a separate bill, and not an amendment to HB 135.” Rep. Tom Loertscher, R-Iona, said, “You create pockets of taxation whenever you go with this kind of thing.” Rep. Lenore Barrett, R-Challis, said, “This is a forerunner to a tax increase and I don’t care who sanctions it, I oppose tax increase.” Rep. Branden Durst, D-Boise, sponsor of the amendment, said, “We need to not be partisan and we need to find a solution that’s good for Idaho. … We talk a lot about local control in this body, but we’re a little light on affirming it.”
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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