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Governor Otter Threatens to Veto Grocery Tax Reduction Unless the Poor Pay Less

March 13th, 2007 by Halli

It’s no surprise, but it’s still a disappointment. Governor Butch Otter appears poised to veto an across-the-board increase in the grocery sales tax rebate which passed the Idaho Senate today.
Otter claims the Senate’s proposal will cost too much, with a price tag of $32.6 million dollars. His proposal “targets” increases in the rebate to lower-income Idahoans only.

Butch has a long history as a libertarian-leaning Republican. This has rubbed conservatives the wrong way on a few occasions, but it’s important to remember that Libertarianism and Conservatism are not one and the same. If that raises a few questions, be sure to take “The World’s Smallest Political Quiz“, mentioned in a previous post.

Essentially, Libertarians and Conservatives part ways on government control of moral issues such as abortion and illegal drug use. Libertarians believe government should stay out of personal lives unless one’s actions harm others or infringe on their rights.

Conservatives, of course, believe government should prohibit abortion and tighten controls on illegal drug use. However, Libertarians and Conservatives agree on the concept of smaller government and lower but fair taxes. Butch’s targeted grocery tax rebate promotes neither smaller government nor lower, fairer taxes.

I must say that I whole-heartedly embrace the belief expressed by Ezra T. Benson when he said that “the elementary principles of justice set forth in the Constitution demand that all taxes imposed be uniform and that each person’s property or income be taxed at the same rate”. Of course, current tax law on every level of government violates those “principles of justice”.

Interestingly, it is Senate Democrats and the most conservative Republican members of the Idaho House who support completely removing sales tax from groceries, though for different reasons. Democrats want to help the poor by removing tax from one of the necessities of life. Conservative Republicans want to lower any tax and reverse the uncontrolled growth of government. Generally those two groups don’t feel too uncomfortable teaming up on common causes.

It’s not too late to urge Governor Otter to accept an across-the-board increase in the grocery tax rebate, which equates to a tax decrease. It’s not difficult to contact the Governor’s office.

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Posted in Idaho Legislature, Politics in General, Property Rights, Taxes | 2 Comments »

2 Responses

  1. Adam Graham Says:

    I’m furious. Who stands for the middle class in Idaho?

  2. Halli Says:

    You should be furious. And- good question!

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