BOISE, IDAHO — U.S. Senate nominee Paulette Jordan earned the endorsements of the National Education Association in her bid to unseat incumbent Senator Jim Risch.
It’s not hard to understand why:
Jim Risch is the primary reason why public education in Idaho ranks dead last in the United States. In 2006, he jammed through a huge property tax cut.
To make up the difference in loss funds for the state, Risch cut education funding in a special session he called in the Idaho legislature.
But it gets worse.
Richy Risch has held public office for 44 years.
And yet, Richy Risch made himself one of the richest members of the United States Senate. Witness: The Center for Responsive Politics notes he’s worth north of $53 million.
How does that compute?
It’s largely due to the property he owns in Idaho.
THE DETAILS: In 2006, he eliminated the school operations property tax levy — cutting $260 million in property taxes. To plus up state funds, he raised the sales tax from 5 percent to 6 percent.
WHAT THAT MEANS FOR YOU: Richy Risch gave himself a property tax cut that helped pad his enormous wealth while your grocery bills went up because of that sales tax.
Richy Risch is looking out for his bank account, not Idahoans.
As of 2014, according to the Lewiston Morning Tribune:
“If, like Risch, you owned lots of property and earned wads of cash, this was a reasonably good deal. One of the richest members of the Senate, Risch acknowledged in 2009 that his tax shift saved him about $48,000 each year in property taxes. Likewise, corporations and out-of-state landlords made out all right. But unless you were earning about $135,000 in 2006 – and considerably more today – you probably wound up paying more in higher sales taxes than you saved in reduced property taxes.”
In addition, the Tribune wrote:
“If you live in one of Idaho’s poorer communities, Risch’s plan was a double whammy. The system he vaporized at least equalized the local tax effort. Now if you live in a school district like Snake River, you pay 30 times as much to keep up with a wealthy area such as McCall. All of which helped launch Idaho’s death spiral to near-last-in-the-nation rankings for incomes and school support. That wasn’t Risch’s intention, of course. But his arrogance and ambition blinded him to the risks.”
In a statement, Paulette Jordan said:
“I’m running to level the playing field for all Idahoans. I’m not running to line my pockets or take care of any corporate interests. Senator Risch is not looking out for you. When I take his seat, I will.”
Paulette Jordan’s message is “People First Policy,” emphasizing health care, economic recovery, stewardship of land, and increased federal fiscal discipline and accountability. She is endorsed by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and EMILY’s List. More information about Jordan’s campaign for the U.S. Senate can be found at her website www.pauletteforsenate.com