In good taste. The Public Facilities District is considering putting the names for the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena, Opera House and Convention Center up for sale in exchange for long-term maintenance money. The cash has to come from somewhere and current revenues won’t be enough.
However, the PFD should be sensitive to veterans’ wishes to keep their name in some form on the Arena. And it should make sure that none of the buildings turn into objects of ridicule. For instance, Boise State University plays basketball at Taco Bell Arena. That’s borderline, but Taco Bell Veterans Memorial Arena would cause major indigestion.
If the PFD can get a major corporation to help pay for upkeep, that’s great. But the names themselves need to be palatable. Avista Stadium and Safeco Field are good models.
On the right track. Although they were flattened by the runaway train that sometimes is the Republican Idaho Legislature, three lawmakers deserve credit for defending Kootenai County property taxpayers on the Senate floor this week.
Republican Sens. Dick Compton, John Goedde and Mike Jorgenson used votes on two tax incentive bills for corporations to draw attention to their county’s rapidly escalating property valuations and taxes. Justifiably, the trio was angry that the House Revenue and Taxation Committee had given short shrift to eight property tax relief bills.
“I want to convey the frustration we feel when people are marching the streets in our area because the Legislature is doing nothing on property taxes,” Compton huffed.
The Senate stampeded Compton & Co. on a 30-5 vote as it joined the House in approving one of the bills that provided tax and job credits and property tax breaks for corporations that meet certain expansion criteria. Still, they deserve credit for not rolling over meekly while the Legislature ignored a major problem in Idaho’s boom areas. Maybe Republican leaders in the Legislature will hear next year when tax activists begin circulating petitions to rein in property taxes a la the One Percent Initiative of the late Ron Rankin. Don’t bet it won’t happen.
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