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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

In brief: Man arrested after trying to pet moose

A 33-year-old Spokane man was arrested on drug charges after a failed attempt to pet a bull moose wandering around a cemetery on Sunday.

A Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife officer was trying to corral the agitated moose at Holy Cross Cemetery when Joseph D. Patterson approached the animal, saying he wanted to pet it and get a picture with it, according to court documents.

The officer asked Patterson to stop, and a scuffle broke out. Patterson, who was wearing a knife during the altercation, took the officer’s Taser and threw it away during the brief struggle, court records indicated.

Spokane police arrived to help and found illegal prescription drugs on Patterson, according to court records.

He was jailed on suspicion of assault, drug possession and resisting arrest.

Ten years ago Patterson had to pay more than $2,000 for running over flowers in Manito Park, according to court documents.

Kip Hill

Idaho homeowner tax break rises by nearly 7 percent

BOISE – Idaho homeowners will get a bigger break on their property tax next year, as the state’s homeowner’s exemption rises along with housing prices.

Idaho’s state Tax Commission announced Monday that the maximum homeowner’s exemption will rise to $89,580 in 2015, up from the current $83,920. That reflects a 6.74 percent increase in Idaho housing prices.

“This is the second year of increase following four years of decreases,” said Alan Dornfest, property tax policy bureau chief for the Tax Commission.

The homeowner’s exemption reduces taxes on an owner-occupied home by exempting up to half of its value from property taxes, with the maximum exemption adjusting each year based on the Idaho House Price Index. Lawmakers tied the exemption to the index in 2006.

Prior to that, the exemption had been fixed at a maximum of $50,000 since 1983. It was created in 1980 but limited to $10,000; voters raised it to $50,000 in 1983 in a ballot initiative.

Lawmakers in 2006 raised the maximum exemption to $75,000, and tied it to inflation by indexing it to the Idaho index; that led to both increases and decreases in the years since.

Betsy Russell