School levy and bond issues are coming to Kootenai County soon. Coeur d’Alene, Lakeland, Post Falls and Plummer-Worley all have funding requests going before voters.
Early voting runs Feb. 25 through March 8 at the Elections Office, 1808 N. Third St. in Coeur d’Alene. Here’s a link to the county’s absentee ballot, if you’d prefer to vote that way: https://bit.ly/2SpKn8d
For the rest of us, Election Day is March 12.
While participation generally is light for school funding requests, there’s plenty of passion wherever property tax increases are concerned. As Charles Tatter notes in his letter on this page, a little gratitude can go a long way if parents of school kids recognize and appreciate the contributions made by those without children in school. (And no, Mr. Tatter is not a California transplant. He moved here last year from the Southeast.)
Just over a year ago, Mike Blackbird of Post Falls pinned the tail on the donkey — or is it an elephant? — when he wrote:
“As a senior citizen I too am frustrated by ever-increasing property taxes due primarily to school levies. Likewise, I don’t have kids, or grandkids, attending Kootenai County schools. Nonetheless, I don’t begrudge taxes to fund education. When I was a kid in school, the seniors of that time helped fund my education. Considering my work career was a result of a good education, that contributed to the well-being of American society. Paying it forward is a good thing.
“The frustration experienced by my fellow seniors is a result of some Kootenai County legislators refusing to vote for education funding as mandated by the Idaho State Constitution and in violation of their oath of office … When our legislators fail to fund education to be shared by all Idaho taxpayers, it then falls on the backs of property owners to fund Kootenai County schools through levies.
“I suspect many seniors lamenting the increase in their property tax bill voted for legislators that through their recalcitrance to fund education, are the true culprits in increasing property taxes.”
Demanding that the Legislature fully fund education is a Quixotic exercise. It’s the correct assessment to avoid frequent property tax ballot issues, but it’s not going to happen anytime soon.
Hence we’ve got levy and bond requests at our doorstep yet again.
The good news is, everybody — seniors, singles, parents with kids in school and those who don’t — gets to have a say.