It didn’t take long for former Gov. Jim Risch to remind me how I was earning a paycheck 10 years ago.
In August 2006, Risch was midway through a seven-month stint as governor, and brokering a deal to slash Idaho property taxes.
I was editorial page editor at the Idaho Statesman at the time — and our editorial board came out against his plan to eliminate $260 million in public school property tax levies, and use a $210 million sales tax increase to make up most of the difference.
That history wasn’t lost on Risch, even in 2016. When he called me on Aug. 6 to discuss the tax shift (yes, he did return a call on a Saturday afternoon during the midsummer congressional recess), he was quick to point out that the law received overwhelming support in a November 2006 advisory vote.
“You editorial writers may not have wanted it, but apparently the people did,” said Risch.
I don’t tend to write about what I wrote in my former life as an opinion writer. But as I look back at the 2006 tax shift — and its impact on education funding — full disclosure is in order.