Idaho voters hate taxes so much they re-elect, and re-re-elect, legislators who (mostly) reflexively slap down anything with a sniff of tax about it.
Here is what Idaho voters did on Tuesday: Approved, often by overwhelming margins, local tax increases or renewals. In the Vallivue School District (Canyon County) 75 percent voted in favor; in Lewiston's school district 86 were in favor; in the Moscow School District, 70%. There were affirmative passing votes in the bulk of money-raising ballot issues around Idaho. They passed last week in Arbon, Cottonwood, Fremont County, Fruitland, Hagerman, Hansen, Kimberly,
Mountain View, Nezperce, Orofino, Parma, Rockland, St. Maries, Salmon River, Troy and Whitepine. That's a lot of tax approval going on for a state like Idaho.
There were rejections too, but considerably fewer of them, and often by narrow margins: Emmett, Homedale, Jefferson County, Kellogg, Plummer-Worley, Salmon. (There list of voting results here likely is incomplete, but it's what was available shortly after the election.)
Conditions differ, of course; the needs in the various districts were scattered. But the pattern seems reasonably clear, especially when you consider the non-school tax measures. A new jail okayed at Jerome. Library district levies passed in Burley and Richfield, a cemetery district levy in Hagerman.
Idaho voters are no wild spenders, but – faced with specific situations – they do seem willing to consider needs and raise money to deal with them. Their attitude seems at odds with that of many of their legislators.
The counter attitude shows up in the case of the vote at the Salmon School District.
The headline on the web page about the Salmon School District's proposed bond levy (the district's page) seems ironic in the face of the actual election on Tuesday: “Information about the may 21, 2013 Bond Election … And Why It Is Different than the Past Elections.” Those past elections are eight previous in the last decade or so, all rejecting proposed levies. (more…)