The Tax Commission's blissful private world

As you might have noticed, times are tough over at the pseudo-Statehouse — the converted old Ada County Courthouse. State agencies are pleading for any stray dollar they can grab. Legislative budget writers are looking for any drop of blood they can wring from the stone, so they can reduce budget cuts affecting Idaho's 272,000 school children.

I state the obvious because, evidently, the folks at the Idaho State Tax Commission are living in some happier alternate world. One where the state has plenty of extra dough, so it really doesn't matter what kind of deals the commission cuts with corporate taxpayers.

The Tax Commission left some basic questions unanswered Thursday during an embarrassing appearance before the Senate Local Government and Taxation Committee.

The commission didn't deliver an annual report on its "compromise and closing agreements" — the deals reached with out-of-state businesses who contest their tax bills. Gov. Butch Otter asked for just such a report on Aug. 20, and set a January deadline. Shouldn't that be enough to get the ball rolling?

And yet it gets worse. The reason these deals are controversial — aside from the fact that they are shrouded in secrecy — is that they allow businesses to settle their tax bills for less that what they owe. So Boise Democratic Sen. Elliot Werk asked a reasonable enough question: How much money is the state giving up? The commission didn't say.

That's inexcusable. Legislators — and the taxpayers they represent — need some basic information so they can weigh the pros and cons of these settlements, which are designed to allow the state to avoid going to court. The current budget crunch ought to lend a little urgency to the process.

Just not in the Tax Commission's world.

Rexburg Republican Sen. Brent Hill — one of the softer-spoken and clearer-thinking people in the Legislature — didn't hide his displeasure. "It should not be on the back burner. It should be on the front burner. From that standpoint, I'm disappointed."

I second that.

Click here for Brian Murphy's story, and here for a story from the Spokane Spokesman-Review's Betsy Russell.

Why did you make the center columm narrower?

And the links have to be copied and pasted in the About yada yogibear sections?

That's all I need--50% longer drag time on that one Rocky Barker item.

To read is wonderful. To comprehend art. Falling back to whatever you believed in is NORMAL.

Oh, you're such a cutie-pie and the cutting edge insight....

is soooooooo profound...can we get your autograph Mr. F/O? Better yet, a book version compendium of your pithy utterances, they add soooooo much to quality of critical thinking here in I-de-ho. Where can I send the flowers and Godiva Chocolate, big boy? you manly hunk of brainy rectitude...

Next time warn us if you have the vapors.

To read is wonderful. To comprehend art. Falling back to whatever you believed in is NORMAL.

Tax Committee Jesters

If the Committees were SERIOUS about their intent, they could simply add an Administrative Rule that all Comps have to be publicly disclosed, just like the Tax Commission Decisions:

Chief Counsel, says it's been sitting there longer than it should have been- translation, "I don't care and am not taking this issue as a priority. I've been here a long dam time, I direct this dog and pony show, and no one is going to run me out so what's the rush?"

IT'S EASY- IF the legislature are serious.
I do not think they are serious. And it's partly because they do not understand the whole matter and the dollars involved.

Plain and simple.

The whole tax commission should be investigated by a real independent investigator, for any conflicts of interest. To much secrecy, unwillingness to cooporate and obviously a defiant attitude, IMO.

Like the yoyos that end up on CNN. Of course!

To read is wonderful. To comprehend art. Falling back to whatever you believed in is NORMAL.

Every politician in the land should be on the firing line.

Some suggest America has a debt of $53 trillion, Bush & Cheney were all about the national debt, $11 trillion, being
virtual. The same government which claims this debt virtual, that we weren’t in a reccession a good part of last year, is handing out billions in bailout to campaign contributors {AIG, banks, mortgage, & who knows all} who gave $64 million in campaign contributions to our representatives? to avoid SEC regulation.

Warnings were there before 9/11, years before, & Congress did nothing. Former presdiental candidate Gary Hart was on a US commission that reported to Congress in 1996 that terrorist could hi-jack commercial airliners & use them as bombs. Many of Bush’s faithful claim we haven’t had another terrorist attack or life lost in the US since 9/11. That was Bush's job, why wouldn't it be done or at least expect to be done? They fail to recognize the fact that 9/11 was on Bush’s watch, there were several warnings, & he also took US to Iraq & spent billions. This financial crisis after claiming {No Reccession} all of last year, is a direct result of Bush's leadership keeping US safe?

Now we're going to Afghanisan when we should have finished that before Bush's vendetta in Iraq. According to Bush, war in Iraq was going to b $50 billion, $600 billion, thousnads of lives, & years later we're going back to Afghanistan to spend another $50 billion? Isn't Afghanistan where Russia went bellie up?

Am I blaming Bush for everything? No just the last eight years. It was Bush’s job to protect US, shirking hs responsiblities while twisting the economy into the dirt wasn’t leadership. Congress & the Senate are just as much to blame along with democrats. We may as well blame our selves if we don't hold our representatives accountable.

There is no way to suggest $53 trillion in debt is all the blame of one or either paty, it was both through campaign finance. If a thief is stealing from you & knows you won't do anything about it, will he continue to steal? Obviously!.

Now we’re allowing the same people responsible for this $53 trillion debt to bail US out of the current financial crisis they & their partners in crime are resonsible for?

The Statesman ran a three day series about AIG.

Brooklesy Born, head of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission argued forcefully for public debate about derivatives AIG was making bank through. Were they a risk to the world finacial system? Born testified before Congress 17 times. You don’t testify before Congress 17 times in 17 minutes. The warnings were there for months if not years but our representatives & their crooked as a dog’s hind leg contributors were making too much money to stop stealing.

Before we hand over one more penny to millionaires, billionaires, campaign contributors, & politicians responsible, we need accountability.

Full fiancial disclosure by all our representatives & their families. Who contributed to their campaigns, tax cuts & laws passed to benefit those contributors while our infrastructure is in need of $2 trillion. They claimed we weren’t in a reccession for a year while these banks, insurance, & mortgage companies spun out of control costing US taxpayers billions, trillions in the stock market, their life savings.

Let’s see where our representatives invested their $ for the last ten or fifteen years, how much they made, & when they got out of the market. Did they move their $ to safe investments knowing which stocks were going to fail while they let American taxpayers lose & now hand out trillions of our $ to those responsible? Madoff's ponzi was nothing compared to the joke we call representation. The SEC failed on that one as well.

The American people need to ask a few hard questions. Our representatives are stealing from Social Security & how much have they taken? They have been talking about fixing Social Security for years but do nothing as with 9/11 & the current finacial crisis. When social Security spins out of control we’ll be in worse shape then we are now. It won’t be $53 trillion, it’ll be much more with Americans living on the streets. Terrorist won’t have to tough of a time attacking US on our soil then. Sre the American people going to do nothing just like Congress? If so we really are a governmnet of, for, & buy the people.

Our representatives hand out tax cuts to corproate unAmerica in return for campaign contributions, job creation the line of BS. Where are those jobs now? Our representatives handed out tax cuts, $ that could have paid for the road Butchie the Texas wanna be ranger is going to raise gas & registration taxes to build. Let me help youout Butchie. 2 plus 2 isn't 10. Get on your horse & ride out of Idhao to Texas, you have a friend in Bushie.

You can be Butchie & Bushie in the saddle again, wink & a nod. Is same sex marriage legal in Texas?

$53 trillion stolen would in my mind qualify as the crime of all time. It won't be for long because the thievies are still at it knowing the people won't do anything.

That gentleman passed on, sadly.

To read is wonderful. To comprehend art. Falling back to whatever you believed in is NORMAL.