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Huckleberries Online

Wed., June 7, 2006, 5:54 p.m.

Mailbag: Why We Need A Special Section

Tom Taggart: As I sit here trying to put the school district's budget presentation together I am struck by both the level of anger and the lack of understanding. On a basic level you can go wrong with the idea of local governments not levying the full amounts. The ability to do that without service reductions will vary from agency to agency. The schools are not under the same 3% limits as the other taxing districts. This leads to a major issue. When you assessed value goes up, the school M&O portion rises with it. Value goes up $100,000 and you will pay about $300 more in school M&0. However, for every dollar increase in property tax there is an equal reduction in state support. It is a shift from state to local based on value. This is by design to help provide equal funding for schools across the state, regardless of assessed value. If a district chooses not to take the full M&O amount, the State assumes it has been levied. This is all the more reason to move the M&O off the property tax. We need the special session.

DFO: Gov. Risch danced around this one today in Coeur d'Alene when Commish Gus Johnson (remember him?) asked about the possibility of a special session. Sounds like TomT has it pegged pretty well ...

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Huckleberries Online

D.F. Oliveria started Huckleberries Online on Feb. 16, 2004. Oliveria's Sunday print Huckleberries is a past winner of the national Herb Caen Memorial Column contest.