The Idaho House Revenue and Taxation Committee declined Tuesday to vote on a bill to freeze property tax budgets for a year.
That gives Idahoans an extra day to send comments to committee members.
The measure, sponsored by House Majority Leader Mike Moyle, a Republican from Star, drew fiery debate from the jump, including from the sponsor himself.
Moyle told committee members that the concept of a property tax is problematic, as such a tax makes people feel like they never own their own homes. Instead, Moyle intimated, property owners feel like they pay rent to the local taxing districts.
“We’re almost serfs to the government,” Moyle said.
Tuesday morning, Idaho Freedom Foundation Vice President Fred Birnbaum told the committee the measure would slow property tax growth, which is on an unsustainable trajectory. Birnbaum said, if property taxes continue to grow at historical rates, Idahoans will pay $400 million more a year to local taxing districts within three years.
Local government official lambasted the freeze proposal, calling it heavy handed and inappropriate. Nampa Mayor Debbie Kling, for one, suggested the freeze would do deep harm to her city. “What is the role of state government?” King asked rhetorically. “It is not to do harm at the local level.”
Idahoans interested in this issue can use the form below to easily share their thoughts on the property tax freeze with House Revenue and Taxation Committee members. The committee will likely vote on the bill Wednesday morning.