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Lawsuit over tax deals over, but new one follows

SATURDAY, NOV. 20, 2010

Judge calls allegations ‘very troubling’

BOISE – An Idaho judge has “reluctantly” granted the state of Idaho’s motion to dismiss Rep. Shirley Ringo’s lawsuit over secret tax deals for lack of standing, but a new version of the lawsuit already has been filed with six plaintiffs.

“We believed that Rep. Ringo had standing, but the six plaintiffs in the second case have an even stronger position relative to standing,” said Robert Huntley, Ringo’s attorney and a former Idaho Supreme Court justice.

The new plaintiffs are three education groups including the Idaho Education Association; a public school student and the student’s mother; and a school district employee. The lawsuit contends Idaho’s Tax Commission has been improperly cutting secret deals with influential taxpayers, letting them off the hook for millions in state taxes. Ringo, D-Moscow, sued, saying the deals violate the state constitution.

Fourth District Judge Cheri Copsey, while granting the state’s motion, called the allegations in the case “very troubling” and said if true, they “cry out for some remedy or some action.”

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