Idaho Gov. Butch Otter sat down for an interview with AP reporter John Miller yesterday, and said he’s ready to ask for higher fees for car owners to fund needed road improvements, now that the ITD has supplied him with detail on how it can also save millions through efficiencies; he still wants grocery tax relief that focuses on the needy, a concept lawmakers rejected last year; and he’s ready to ask for a change in the Idaho constitution to prevent homeowners’ taxable values for property taxes from rising with the real estate market. Click below to read the full AP article.
That last item, which has been a non-starter in the Legislature, was on the governor’s mind earlier in the day, too. When I quizzed him after a special Land Board meeting about cottage site rents, he compared that situation to the property tax issue. “I see some similarities there,” Otter said. He said the cabin owners who rent the land below their cabins from the state weren’t prepared for big future rent increases, just as homeowners who might have lived on their property for 40 years and paid it off wouldn’t expect that, just because a developer buys up land next door and plans something lavish, their taxes would skyrocket. In both situations, Otter said, what’s lacking is certainty from the outset.