Domestic policy: our property tax crisis requires solutions, not scapegoats! | Chroniclers
Third, for 14 years, GOP lawmakers stopped efforts to increase property tax assistance for low-income seniors and veterans. This year, they authorized a tiny increase in aid for some, but financed it by expelling 4,000 people from the program.
Fourth, they denied the local government their share of the Internet sales tax. You buy a shirt from Target, 11% of the sales tax collected goes to the local government. But if you buy that same shirt on Amazon, GOP lawmakers have blocked the local government from receiving the taxes collected. As sales have moved online, this has affected local governments’ sources of revenue and made them more dependent on property taxes.
Finally, the GOP bill, shamefully touted as “property tax relief”, limits the taxes that can be collected on the basis of new developments, preventing growth from paying for growth. Existing owners must either pay more property taxes to make up for the deficit (as happened in Meridian, which was forced to increase property taxes by this legislation) or suffer cuts to essential local government services. like the police, firefighters and paramedics. Cities like Caldwell and Ketchum, which were already operating on tight budgets, were forced to stop new construction, exacerbating the housing crisis in the state.
For years, GOP lawmakers blocked every bill that offered significant relief, like capping assessment increases, reinstating indexed exemption, treating Internet sales tax the same as regular sales tax; and increased tax assistance for low-income seniors and veterans. The result has been the rise in property taxes which push people out of their homes.