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LEVIES: Taxpayers wrong target

| February 23, 2021 1:00 AM

Sunday’s Editorial suggests that we join them in voting for the supplemental levy. This article “Step up for your schools” should, in fact, be directed not to the taxpayer, but the Idaho Legislature.

Article IX, Section 1, of Idaho’s constitution reads: “LEGISLATURE TO ESTABLISH SYSTEM OF FREE SCHOOLS. The stability of a republican form of government depending mainly upon the intelligence of the people, it shall be the duty of the legislature of Idaho to establish and maintain a general, uniform and thorough system of public, free common schools.” This clearly places the responsibility for the state’s public schools on the shoulders of the Legislature.

Actions that drive local school districts into making dramatic increases in the use of local property tax resources raise serious doubt that the Legislature is fulfilling its constitutional obligations. It becomes questionable that Idaho’s policymakers are meeting the other obligation to assess and levy property taxes uniformly.

Agreed that the Coeur d’Alene School District has been in a state of flux due to the pandemic, however it has affected everyone, not just the School District. And if we’ve learned anything this past year is that property owners are not responsible for supplemental levies. It is up to our legislators to obtain the funding for our schools “most basic needs.”

Continually voting yes on these levies will only encourage more of the same. When are we going to hold our legislators responsible? A “no” vote would ensure that our legislators start doing their jobs.

JoANN LOKKEN

Coeur d’Alene