Smaller Better Government

  • Idaho Government takes too much of our hard-earned money
  • A free economy is a strong economy
  • Idahoans deserve efficient government, lower taxes, and less regulations

 

The foremost challenges facing Idahoans are property and food taxes, crushing inflation, and the liberal “woke” agenda all threatening Idaho family prosperity and well-being. As a Ph.D. economist, I have the expertise to help guide Idaho through challenging economic times. I have a proven record of providing excellent analysis of policy options and voting the right way on complicated issues. Now, more than ever, Idaho needs competent people in office to help Idaho free up the economy and return to the prosperity we were enjoying just a few months ago. 

The state budget for Idaho will grow this year by nearly 19% above last year.  Every state agency has seen significant increases in spending and there have been many instances of waste and over-spending.  Idaho is not suffering from underfunded government.  It is dishonest for some candidates to say a legislator who votes No on a budget means they “hate police” or “hate farmers.”  Careful legislators will vote for efficient government and will oppose over-spending no matter where it appears.

As a PhD economist, and budget committee member, I carefully analyze the budget proposals and government growth.  Idaho does not need more legislators who vote Yes on every budget.  We need legislators who are wise stewards over your tax dollars, limit government to its proper role, and return the budget surpluses to hard-working Idahoans who desperately need lower taxes.

As your Representative, I successfully worked with constituents to get the laws changed on many important issues including the ability to do electrical work on your own home, keeping property rights for short term rentals, lower regulations on family businesses, and transparency in government bond elections. In six years in office, I have made sure to not miss a single missed vote. I show up, do the work and am responsive to constituent concerns. I respond to every phone call (hundreds), reply to every email (thousands), and send a weekly legislative update to nearly 5,000 subscribers. 

Key Legislation

2015 Ultrasound Information Act – Lead Sponsor, (Law)
2016 Constitutional Carry – Co-sponsor (Law)
2018 Gun Safety Classes in Schools – Lead Sponsor, (Law)
2015-2018 SBAC removal bills – Lead sponsor (now not required for graduation)

Constituent bills (all passed): Homeowner electrical work bill, Airbnb property rights bill, Minimum wage exception for family business work, Bond and levy transparency bill

Introduced legislation: Repeal Common Core, Repeal Obamacare in Idaho, and Ban on Dismemberment Abortions.

2021-22 proposed: Grocery Tax Repeal, Bond and Levy Transparency (passed), Gold and Silver Reserves for State, Gasoline Tax Cut, School Mask Exemptions

 

Editorial published in the Standard Journal March 6, 2020

Raybould’s Bad Vote would Keep Your Property Taxes High

On February 25, 2020, the Idaho House overwhelmingly voted to freeze local tax district budgets (except schools) for one year (H409). It passed 46-23 with only 9 Republicans voting against it. Unfortunately, Britt Raybould of District 34 was one of those dissenters.

Let’s not forget who showed up to testify in support of the property tax freeze, ordinary citizens who are being taxed out of their homes. Who opposed the freeze? Many units of local government and various special interests who value higher government spending.

Ms. Raybould dropped the ball on keeping your taxes low. She opposed the freeze, she was absent for the debate and vote (her substitute cast her bad vote instead), and she doubled-down on her bad vote by writing a deeply flawed editorial about it.

In her hard-to-follow explanation, Ms. Raybould wants to have it both ways, she says freezing budgets to lower taxes, for just one year, will impair local services. But also claims she can hold the line on property tax increases some other way. How confusing; is she really in favor of low taxes or not?

Here is the main issue: the only way to ensure taxes don’t rise continuously over time is to control the budget increases allowed for taxing districts–merely limiting tax rates doesn’t do it. The current limitations on tax increases are too generous, but Raybould doesn’t want to address them.

Idaho law already allows authorities to increase budgets up to 3% per year, plus further increases of budgets for new construction growth and annexation. These are the limits in law, but in practice, they allow for large spending increases which lead to large tax increases. Just last year the actual overall increase in property taxes was 6.6%, because of the growth formula. Governments like to raise taxes.

This bill (H409) to freeze budgets (and lower taxes) is nothing new. The state legislature is in the arena to make these changes. With many property owners complaining of their ever-increasing property tax bills, the House took the reasonable measure of limiting budgets. Even though it’s temporary, the freeze provides long-lasting lower taxes because of its compounding effects.

Ms. Raybould says she would prefer to cap the tax rate, but not freeze the budgets. Here’s the problem with her thinking. Capping tax RATES does not reduce taxes actually paid. Local taxing authorities could and would increase budgets by using higher assessment valuations and other gimmicks to get their revenues. Taxpayers would pay more because of higher assessments, even with a capped rate.

It’s simple math to see the only true way to limit property taxes is to freeze budgets. But when a legislator thinks merely capping the tax rate (while allowing the base to increase) will keep taxes low, she either doesn’t understand basic property tax math, or she is desperately trying to explain her way out of a “higher taxes” vote she and her substitute cast.

This year (if H409 succeeds) when you see your tax bill stay level (or go down), just know it wasn’t because you had one particular legislator watching your back. She was gone, and she wanted another “solution”–one with higher taxes.

District 34 is a conservative district. Voters and taxpayers deserve a representative who matches those conservative values and who understands the simple math of property taxes and how to keep them low, while still allowing for growth in the community. I will be your low-tax legislator