Property Tax Worries
Governor Butch Otter wants to do away with the personal property tax in Idaho.
And so far, Democrats say, "sure" .... if ... We can find a reliable source of replacement funding.
But that is a big if.
We're on your side with a look at the impact a straight tax cut would have.
And local leaders are not mincing words about the damage the say could result.
There's no mistaking how the City of Nampa feels about the personal property tax issue.
"A total repeal would be devastating."
If the city did not find replacement funds were found, it would lose at least four million dollars which Mayor Tom Dale says would have to come from public safety.
"It's unacceptable to reduce the safety of the community in that amount."
Cities and counties across the state have similar concerns.
"My e mail is blowing up with people all over that are concerned."
"This could be catastrophic for members of our community."
State Senator Cherie Buckner Webb says Democrats are determined to work with Republicans to find solid sources of replacement funding.
She says there are many options.
But there are also some republicans calling for no replacement funding at all.
"Nampa Mayor Tom Dale says he thinks the legislature will do the right thing and look after the cities. But by the same token, he's not at all certain cities won't end up on the short end of the stick."
"Reporter: How concerned are you that might happen? Dale: I trust the legislature to know that's not acceptable to their constituents."
"We absolutely unequivocally know there must be some income stream to compensate for this going away.."
And Buckner Webb says a cooperative effort will find a way.
"We're ready to go to work."
Dale suggests the state start collecting sales tax on internet purchases to help make up the difference.
If the personal property tax is repealed it would create a 141 million dollar hole statewide.