NEWCOMER: Extortion legal in Idaho

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I went to the Kootenai County Commissioners Cancellation of Taxes meeting recently to request owner occupied status for 2017 since my wife and I forgot to sign the form after we moved in on October 2016. That’s all we did — simply forget to sign a form saying that we live in our recently purchased home. The kicker here is that we never received a letter telling us to sign it or else.

Commissioner Marc Eberlein explained to me that the state of Idaho requires me to prove “undue hardship.” I explained that we cannot afford to send our 4-year-old to school, which was quickly shot down and they moved on to the next subject.

Idaho is one of the few states that taxes groceries and does not offer public preschool, so this is our esteemed welcome to the state — paying about twice what we should for property tax and keeping our son isolated. If I’m a patriotic commissioner, I’ll be saying that this is utterly ridiculous at best and accept any reasonable excuse. To make a single income family pay well over $1,000 for a missed signature is textbook extortion.

KEITH SHOCKLEY

Coeur d’Alene

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