Regarding the 5 percent income tax proposed by State Treasurer Jim McIntire, I believe the assumption that our tax base is shrinking, and that we rely on sales tax to support schools, and that a new tax is necessary, is not accurate.
For one thing, our state has historically relied on profits from state timber harvest to build schools. And, until recent bureaucratic regulatory crackdown on the timber industry, this system has served us well.
In addition, Sen. Doug Ericksen and the republican state Senate have already proposed a budget increasing money for education and maintaining public services without raising or introducing any new taxes.
If we are going to need more money further down the road, we should look to timber as a sustainable resource that will continually boost our economy by providing family wage jobs while benefiting public services simultaneously.