THE LATEST


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Three promising bills could provide property tax relief for Idahoans

By Wayne Hoffman | President

There is, perhaps, a glimmer of hope for people like Boise’s Kari Wardle. Kari, 40, juggles full-time employment and raising a 5-year-old boy, while caring for her terminally-ill mom. But it’s her rising property taxes that have her really rattled. “My wages don’t increase enough every year to offset these costs,” Wardle explained. “With medical expenses and my child, even with working a full time job, we are barely getting by. If property taxes increase again next year, I honestly have no idea what we will do!”

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How to guarantee higher college tuition costs

By Scott Yenor | Special to Idaho Freedom Foundation

College costs continue to rise. Columbia, the nation’s tuition leader this past academic year, has seen its price tag climb yet again, to about $60,000 annually for tuition alone, bringing its total annual cost to over $75,000, when counting room and board. Ivy League schools are not alone. For two generations, tuition-rate hikes have significantly exceeded inflation. Why?

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Credit Little with containing costs after Kustra’s expensive years at BSU

By Wayne Hoffman | President

Former Boise State University President Bob Kustra says he can’t understand why Gov. Brad Little has decided to keep a lid on state spending even as the economy is growing. “Someone has left the control room of state government, and the autopilot is off course,” Kustra groaned in a recent column.

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Lawmakers should nix state government’s new “home visit” program for young parents

By Wayne Hoffman | President

Gov. Brad Little has given lawmakers a budget that is indisputably the most conservative spending blueprint in many years. It’s an excellent starting point.

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Little’s budget serves as an important course correction

By Fred Birnbaum | Vice President

It is no secret that fiscal conservatives felt let down during the final years of Gov. Butch Otter’s administration. Otter abandoned his pledge to hold the growth of state government spending at or below Idahoan’s own personal income growth.

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Freedom Foundation: Little’s agenda, including grocery tax relief, a worthy conservative starting point for 2020

By Idaho Freedom Foundation staff

Boise, ID—On Monday, Idaho Freedom Foundation President Wayne Hoffman lauded Gov. Brad Little, whose 2020 State of the State address promised grocery tax relief and taxpayer-friendly state agency budgets. 

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Taxes, freedom to work, education top priorities for 2020

By Wayne Hoffman | President

Legislative success in containing property taxes will make the difference as to whether some Idahoans have to move from their homes. It’s why property tax relief has to be the No. 1 priority for the upcoming legislative session. 

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2020 resolution: Let’s talk about what ails the public education system

By Wayne Hoffman | President

One of the first lessons we learn as small children is: Honesty is the best policy Yet, in 2019, my unvarnished assessment of public schools — that government shouldn’t be in the education business — wound up being the quote that lit the media’s collective hair on fire. I also said that public schools are exceptionally good at indoctrination and teaching socialism. Several Idaho media pundits used it to ridicule me and record their personal outrage. How dare anyone question the existence of government-run schools, especially Wayne Hoffman, to whom people might listen?

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A letter to Santa

By Wayne Hoffman | President

The gang at the Idaho Freedom Foundation was very good in 2019, and knowing that we’re not the easiest to shop for, we’ve made a list of gifts that help celebrate the expansion of freedom, along with an explanation. Please let us know if you have any questions.

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Education board didn’t hear Idahoans on Common Core

By Wayne Hoffman | President

The optics behind the State Board of Education’s super-quiet decision late last month to reapprove Common Core education standards should not sit well with Idahoans. Residents petitioned the board for hearings on Common Core; five hearings were held across the state. Two days before Thanksgiving, the board reapproved the standards without so much as a mention of the issue, the hearings, or the concerns that Idahoans raised at them.

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Idaho Education Association’s real agenda: money and power

By Wayne Hoffman | President

My friend and former newspaper colleague, Chuck Malloy, recently wrote an article about the Idaho Education Association that continues an Idaho media tradition of miscategorizing the IEA’s place in the state’s policy arena. The chief problem with Malloy’s commentary is the same one that plagues the Idaho news media generally: Writes cover the IEA as though its mission is to improve public education. Accordingly, reporters often seek the organization’s thoughts on education, as though it has an impartial, scholarly viewpoint to offer. 

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Finally, people know: Urban renewal adds to property tax pain

By Wayne Hoffman | President

Maybe, just maybe, people are starting to recognize that urban renewal plays a significant part in making it unaffordable for Idahoans to keep their homes.

At least that’s my take from having watched Canyon County elected officials in open revolt regarding a plan to start another urban renewal project. They verbalized concern it would compound problems for property taxpayers. My, how far we’ve come.

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Giving thanks this Thanksgiving, but without a drink

By Wayne Hoffman | President

From a freedom-loving perspective, there’s much to be thankful for this year. Idaho now has a governor, Brad Little, interested in regulatory reform and spending discipline. Lawmakers are talking about real tax relief, including reductions in property taxes and the elimination of the state sales tax on groceries. We’re likely to see several tax-reduction proposals offered in the 2020 legislative session. Hooray!

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Help Idaho’s colleges and students by freezing tuition

By Wayne Hoffman | President

Gov. Brad Little’s preemptive “spending reset,” to rein in state spending before the next economic downturn, is a good start to help Idaho taxpayers who could use a break from a decade of a growing state government. But other taxpayers—Idaho’s increasingly put-upon college and university students—also need relief. That relief can be achieved if Little and lawmakers decide this winter to impose a freeze on college tuition and fees.

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Give Gov. Little thanks for defending taxpayers by containing budget

By Wayne Hoffman | President

Please take a moment to cheer Gov. Brad Little and his administration for proactively getting Idaho’s fiscal house in order ahead of a potential economic downturn. Spending restraint is a tough job that too few elected officials choose to do.

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Cut spending to provide property tax relief

By Fred Birnbaum | Vice President

A property tax revolt is brewing in Idaho, and it is easy to understand why. Homeowners are seeing property taxes increase faster than their incomes and that is not sustainable. Seniors, picture a moving truck pulling up to your house; those on fixed incomes can’t — won’t be able to — keep up with upward spiraling tax increases.

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