Monday, January 28, 2008
Sunday night President Gordon B. Hinckley passed away. There is much coverage in the media regarding this event. On the way to work I heard news reports twice on NPR. I wanted to share two clips about President Hinckley. I will miss his sense of humor and the humility he had as a witness of the divinity of Jesus Christ.
Friday, January 25, 2008
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Monday, January 21, 2008
It appears that some legislators like to work on keeping themselves in office by supporting businesses (that can't vote) as opposed to voters. An interesting read for sure.
"In response to some complaints that I heard from residents at a recent District 18 Legislative Forum, I would like to provide the following historical review of Idaho tax policy.
Before the 2006 Special Session here is what Jim Risch had to say (link here):
“The net result of my proposal is a $50 million dollar tax cut that will take affect this year and every year. The maintenance and operations levy is the driver of property tax increases and this will remove the cause of the enormous increase in property taxes when values escalate. Idahoans should not have to worry about being driven out of their homes by property tax increases just because they had a huge rise in the value of their home. The primary beneficiary of this property tax relief is middle-income Idahoans.” After the 2006 Special Session here is what Jim Risch had to say (link here):
“I am overwhelmed by the two-thirds vote by both the House and the Senate for property tax relief. Difficult issues usually result in a close vote, but Idahoans saw that this plan provides immediate and permanent property tax relief while substantially helping education."Last summer, here is what House Republican Leadership had to say about tax exemptions:
"I'm going to work through it, you bet," [House Tax Chairman Dennis Lake] said. "There are issues on the list that obviously I don't agree with, but still, we'll work through them." (link here)
"Most of these exemptions have a strong constituency politically so the ability to go and do a massive overhaul - don't hold your breath," said Rep. Scott Bedke, R-Oakley. (link here)Here is what was said this week by those same folks (link here):
"What's broken? We have a tax system that is bringing in more money than we are spending," [House Assistant Majority Leader Scott Bedke] said.
"What I have heard from this committee is, once an exemption is established it should stay established," Lake said.
And finally, lets consider the thoughts of these same lawmakers last year during a debate on a bill that would have given a huge tax break to business (link here):
First, let me make a few observations:
Rep. Scott Bedke, R-Oakley, sounded a similar note. “You need to ask yourself who is demanding the services” that impact county budgets, he said. “Is it ag? Is it mining and timber? I don’t think so. It is residential.”
"Yes, for this year, we do shift some taxes,” said House Tax Chairman Dennis Lake, R-Blackfoot.
- The beneficiaries of the 2006 Special Session property tax bill has not been "middle-income Idahoans."
- The 2006 Special Session property tax bill has not provided "immediate and permanent property tax relief ."
- Attempts to reign in the dozens of business tax exemptions were half hearted.
- There has been a systematic and calculated agenda to continue to shift more of the tax burden on to homeowners.
- Current House Majority Leadership is more interested in offering tax relief to businesses than they are to working families.
Let's be clear, the only way that homeowners will see real tax relief is if the tax burden is shared more equitably. This means that we need to eliminate some of the sales tax exemptions that are in reality nothing more than corporate welfare. It is undeniable that this will not occur as long the Idaho Legislature continues to be led by the current leadership team which takes its marching orders from the likes of IACI and the Idaho Association of Realtors. This is not political rhetoric, but rather a simple observation of quotations made by these legislators. I've said it before and I will say it again, I will not support legislation that will have the intended consequence (whether expressed or implied), of shifting more of the burden to Idaho families. I am committed to ensuring that Idaho is best place to do business, but doing so on the backs of Idahoans isn't good for anyone in the long-run. The approach must be worker-centric and business-centric, not one or the other. Workforce development and training must be our aim, not more tax cuts. If there are highly qualified individuals, there will be an employer ready to offer them a good job. This helps workers and it helps business."
Friday, January 18, 2008
Friday, January 11, 2008
Monday, January 07, 2008
"SALT LAKE CITY 4 January 2008 A 10-minute video originally produced for the large number of journalists visiting Salt Lake City for the 2002 Winter Olympics has been updated and posted on Newsroom today to help counter persistent myths about the Church.
Myths & Reality was developed as a primer on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It was shown to a large gathering of NBC producers and reporters before the 2002 Games to help orient them to Mormon beliefs, practice and culture. NBC was the official media sponsor of the Olympics in 2002 and invited the Church to make a presentation to its large Olympic Games team."