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Posts tagged: taxes

Vick: Why I Back 2/3s Vote Rule

In an op-ed article, Idaho Sen. Steve Vick, R-Dalton Gardens, defends his unsuccessful legislation that would require a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to raises taxes & fees: “When considering taxes and our liberty, I think of a quote from Daniel Webster, during the famous Supreme Court case McCullough v. Maryland, stating “An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, a power to destroy.” I believe there is an important relationship between taxes and individual freedom: any time you raise taxes, you take a little bit of freedom away from those you are taxing. Therefore, it is important that the Legislature puts this in place to ensure that proposals which have a deep impact on our liberties are deliberative and have widespread support from our elected representatives.” More here.

DFO: I believe this bill would hamstring the already tight-fisted Legislature from reacting responsibly to growing revenue needs for education, social services, corrections, and sundry other budget items.

Question: Do you think the Republican dominated Idaho Legislature already does a good job keeping the state budget in check?

Pat Moynihan: The Sensible Center

The late, great Senator from New York, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, was asked back in 1993, when Congress was debating an earlier federal budget deal, if there “would be a fight until death” over taxes. Moynihan, intellect and wit in full flower, came back at NBC’s Tim Russert: “Fight until death over taxes? Oh no. Women, country, God, things like that. Taxes? No.” We may see a grand deal struck this weekend in the long running Washington drama over taxes, spending and debt and it is a safe bet no one will fight until death, even if the rhetoric makes all of what has been going on in the nation’s capitol sound like Armageddon. A deal must be struck. The only Armageddon here would be the shape of national and world economy should the United States of America default on its debt, even for a little while/Marc Johnson, The Johnson Report. More here.

Question: What would you fight to the death over?

Bad news in the cards for Romanian witches

Romanian witches perform a ritual in Chitila, Romania

BUCHAREST, Romania – There's more bad news in the cards for Romania's beleaguered witches.

A month after Romanian authorities began taxing them for their trade, the country's soothsayers and fortune tellers are cursing a new bill that threatens fines or even prison if their predictions don't come true.

Superstition is a serious matter in the land of Dracula, and officials have turned to witches to help the recession-hit country collect more money and crack down on tax evasion.

Witches argue they shouldn't be blamed for the failure of their tools.

“They can't condemn witches, they should condemn the cards,” Queen Witch Bratara Buzea told The Associated Press by telephone. Alison Mutler, AP Full story.

 I'm pretty the folks who run the Pyschic Hotline have to pay taxes. Have you ever had your palm read or consulted a fortune teller?

Popkey: Phil Hart Is No Jack Noble

A rarely convened special committee began digging Tuesday into allegations that a Kootenai County lawmaker abused his office in his effort to avoid paying his income taxes. The House Ethics Committee investigation is the first time Idaho legislators have scrutinized one of their own since 2005, when a Kuna lawmaker named Jack Noble slipped into ignominy rather than face likely expulsion by the Senate. But today’s villain is not comparable to yesterday’s. The ethical misdeeds of Phil Hart, a Republican from tiny Athol, are not on the same scale as Noble’s. Hart is guilty of petulant politics and conduct embarrassing to colleagues. But based on what we know now, he doesn’t appear to have committed an offense so grave as to bring his fellows to expel him from the Legislature/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Do you agree w/columnist Dan Popkey that Hart is guilty of “petulant politics and conduct unbecoming to colleagues” — but not of conduct worthy of expulsion?


Hart Has Used Session To Hold Off Taxes 4X

Here’s a link to Betsy Russell’s full story today re: how Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, has used the legislative session to hold off the tax man four times in the six years he’s served as a state lawmaker, starting his first year in office; and here’s a link to a letter from a Spokane attorney that Hart submitted to the state Board of Tax Appeals to bolster his case. Washington has a very similar legislative privilege clause in its state constitution to the one that Hart cites in Idaho’s constitution, but Hugh Spitzer, who teaches state constitutional law at the University of Washington School of Law, said he hasn’t heard of lawmakers invoking it in similar situations.

Question: What bugs you more — that Rep. Phil Hart owes the IRS about $350,000 in back taxes? Or that he owes Idaho $53,000 in back taxes?

HBO Poll: Accountant Does MyTaxes

  • Wednesday Poll: A plurality of 61 of 152 respondents (40%) said that an accountant does their taxes for them. 50 of 152 (33%) said they use tax software to do their taxes. 30 of 152 (20%) said they do their own taxes. 8 of 152 (myself included) said they use a firm like H&R Block to do their taxes. And 3 of 152 (2%) said they don’t file returns.
  • Pro-Tech School: 62 of 103 respondents (60%) said they’d support a $9.5M capital facilities levy to build a professional-technical school on the Rathdrum Prairie.
  • Today’s Question (in lefthand rail): Why is Jim Brannon pursuing his lawsuit against Mike Kennedy?

Adam: WalMart Embracing Lower Taxes

Wal-Mart is not moving (from Moscow) to a place where they’ll pay higher taxes, but lower taxes. The National Tax Foundation has the run-down on the State of Washington. Washington ranks 9th in the Nation in Business Tax environment and has the nation’s 35th lowest state and local tax burden. Most importantly, Washington does not have that great disincentive to industry and productivity, the income tax. Individuals and corporations pay exactly zero on their productivity and labor. How does Idaho compare? We rank 18th in business tax environment with heavy progressive taxes on individual and corporate income/Adam Graham, Adam’s Blog. More here.

Question: Are you surprised that Washington has a better business tax environment than Idaho?

Silver and…well…silver

Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, pitches his bill Monday morning to have Idaho create an official silver medallion that could be used to pay state taxes.

BOISE — Idaho lawmakers are backing a plan that would allow state tax bills to be paid down with silver medallions instead of cash.

Athol Republican Rep. Phil Hart’s bill approved Monday is intended to encourage the use of silver as a form of currency and reinvigorate Idaho’s silver mining industry, which has been in decline for decades. More.

Personally, I’d rather pay my taxes in pennies, but I can’t count that high. What do think of Hart’s proposed legislation?

Online Poll: Idaho Tax Revenue

 If state tax revenues keep dropping in Idaho, what should the Legislature do?/Idaho Statesman 

  • Raise taxes
  • Cut all budgets more
  • Preserve education at all costs
  • Don’t know

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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