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Allred Updated

10 February 2010

We wrote to Shea Andersen, Press Secretary for Keith Allred, asking if she had any comments or thoughts to add in regards to the previous post.  Ms. Andersen was kind enough to respond and included a few links in her email with what were Mr. Allred’s previously stated campaign goals.  To his credit, Mr. Allred does indeed have a proposal for helping to narrow the budget deficit.  His plan is to eliminate state sales tax exemptions.  (What Mr. Allred does not have is a good web site.)

Mr. Allred’s plan is, according to Ms. Andersen, the following: eliminate some of the over $1B in sales tax exemptions.  The increased revenues would allow the state to reduce the overall tax rate and encourage business activity.  We commend Mr. Allred for the proposal.  What we would like to see if a complete elimination of all the exemptions.  The tax code is an inefficient and terribly opaque way for the government to incentivize business activity.

While some will claim that Mr. Allred’s plan is a tax increase — and in a sense it is — but it is were coupled with an overall reduction in the state sales tax, then there would be many, many more that would see there overall tax burden lowered than increased.  Those that raise their voices against the proposal seem to miss the point that Idahoans are paying more in taxes right now than they would under the proposed scenario (assuming a reduction in the overall rate).

Governor Otter remains fixed on lowering the State’s cost of doing business, and we commend him for that … and for his efforts to secure the stationing of the F-35 here.  There is common ground here for the politicians.  We hope that partisanship and election year politics will not prevent our State politicians from coming together to resolve our pressing problems.

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A suggestion to the Allred team: call the plan tax “equalization”, as that’s what it really is.

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