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Relief Starts With No New Tax

Hmmm. On the surface, a recreation tax proposal floated by Kootenai County commissioners last week doesn’t seem like much money - 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation. That’s only $30 in property taxes annually for a place valued at $60,000 (after the homeowners exemption). But you have to look beneath the surface to judge this scheme. In a county with a taxable value of more than $4 billion, this little tax would raise more than $2 million. That’s quite a windfall - many times more than is needed to maintain the Centennial Trail and county boat launch sites and parks. Curiously, commissioners supported a local-option tax bill this year that allows Kootenai County, with voter approval, to raise its sales tax. The carrot? Up to $8 million in local-option revenue would be dedicated to property tax relief. But we wouldn’t need such relief if we weren’t nickeled-and-dimed to death with things like recreation taxes.

Rotarians should change their motto or ways

Idaho Rotarians have failed to observe their Four-Way Test principles this election season. (You know: Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build good will and better friendships? Will be beneficial to all concerned?) First, Rotarian Reed Simpson, a Kootenai County commissioner candidate, upset Internet junkies by sending them the computer equivalent of political junk mail. Now, a practical joke pulled by a Boise Rotarian has us wondering again if these birds practice what they preach. Seems a sergeant-at-arms talked a club member into stuffing her blouse with two black handkerchiefs and then asked U.S. Senate wannabe Walt Minnick to pull on one of them as part of a magic trick. Walt and his lady fair didn’t know that a brassiere was attached to the handkerchief, and, voila, everyone turned red - with embarrassment, laughter or anger. Walt and his fellow victim apologized profusely to each other, and the club drafted a policy against sexual harassment. But a politically correct policy wouldn’t be needed if Boise Rotarians lived by their code.

Fan mail: Reader questions Transportation Department competence

Hayden subscriber Robert McAllister saw the Handle photo of Idaho Department of Transportation workers changing Interstate 90 speed signs Wednesday and sent a fax: “Why does it take four state DOT workers and assorted large equipment to change a sign that any modestly handy person could do with a couple of crescent wrenches and a pickup truck?” Dunno. Unfortunately, the caption didn’t read: “Your tax dollars at work.”

, DataTimes MEMO: D.F. Oliveria’s “Hot Potatoes” runs Tuesdays and Thursdays. You can comment on the items by calling (800) 344-6718 or (208) 765-7125.

D.F. Oliveria’s “Hot Potatoes” runs Tuesdays and Thursdays. You can comment on the items by calling (800) 344-6718 or (208) 765-7125.

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