THE LATEST


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Only lawmakers can stop local governments from bleeding us dry

By Wayne Hoffman | President

Contrary to the famous marketing campaign, pork is not white meat. It’s red. I know this because the consumption of even the tiniest amount of red meat causes me to be covered in hives. Pork is no exception. This is the result of a tick that bit me when I was a teenager. (If you’re curious about my condition, Google “alpha-gal syndrome.”)

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Weeds: The horrors of a property tax freeze

By Dustin Hurst | Communication director

If you’re easily frightened, I strongly suggest you close your browsing window — now. This story will get terrifying quickly. As members of the Idaho House of Representatives prepare to vote on legislation to provide property tax relief to Idahoans, local government officials are out in force trying to kill the bill. And the stories they tell are horrifying.

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Bills we’re watching this week: Common Core, property tax freeze, and grocery tax repeal

By Dustin Hurst | Communication director

Things in the Idaho Capitol are about to get crazy.

Well, as crazy as things regulated by “Mason’s Manual of Legislative Procedure” can get.

Still, this week is going to be lit.

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Now’s the time to have your voice heard on property taxes

By Wayne Hoffman | President

I’ve always believed, for every single dollar the government spends, each elected official who voted for the spending should be able to look a taxpayer in the eye, without a shred of embarrassment, and explain why the government needed the money more than the person who earned it. In Idaho, those real life conversations would go something like this: We need the money so that we can build a big message board that is a replica of the main bridge into town. (Twin Falls)

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Every parent knows why the bond election rerun bill is good policy

By Wayne Hoffman | President

Children are usually great, but occasionally they’re horribly annoying. Every parent has been here: You’ve just given your child a sweet treat. He gobbles it down, licks his lips, and sticks out his hand. He wants another. He asks again and again and again. He ends up in his room without a treat.

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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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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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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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