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Tue., April 24, 2012, 8:25 a.m.

Trib: Risch Left A Mess Behind

Before he got elected to the U.S. Senate, Jim Risch served a few months as Idaho governor. Lieutenant governor at the time, Risch rose to the job in mid-2006 when Dirk Kempthorne got the nod to serve as President George W. Bush's interior secretary. Risch could have left well enough alone. Instead, he called a one-day special session of the Idaho Legislature. Then he imposed his will. But you already know that. Before it was over, Risch had passed a supremely consequential tax change. Rather than pay $260 million in property taxes to help schools, the governor grafted public education maintenance and operation support entirely onto the general fund. To pay for it, he backed a penny increase in the sales tax, then worth about $210 million/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: The editorial goes on to say that the Risch plan destabilized school funding and failed to maintain the property tax cut because school districts now use levies to balance the budget. Would you like to see a do-over on this one?




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D.F. Oliveria
D.F. (Dave) Oliveria joined The Spokesman-Review in 1984. He currently is a columnist and compiles the Huckleberries Online blog and writes about North Idaho in his Huckleberries column.

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