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Former state representative announces run for Bonneville County commissioner

Tom Loertscher announced his candidacy Saturday. | Courtesy Tom Loertscher for Commissioner on Facebook
The following is a news release from Tom Loertscher.
IDAHO FALLS – Former state representative Tom Loertscher has decided to throw his hat in for the Bonneville County commissioner race.
He is running against Brady Belliston and Jon Walker. A primary will be held on May 19.
We are living in difficult times, to say the least. Who would have thought two weeks ago that we would be facing down worldwide concerns about the future the way we are today. These recent developments are impacting us all in many different ways and have diverted our attention away from the problems we face right here in Bonneville County.
Everywhere I go, I talk with people about their other big concerns. The topic of property taxes always comes up. I have yet to talk with anyone whose property taxes have decreased. In fact, property taxes, for just the portion Bonneville County will collect and spend this year, have seen an average increase of 10%. For small business and agriculture, taxes are up anywhere from 40 to 100% for the year.
From the budget sheet passed out at the August 29, 2019 budget hearing we read: “While the needs of a continually growing County like ours increases(sic) each year, The Bonneville County Levy rate (tax rate) for 2019-2020 will show a decrease to residents of Bonneville County.”
The accountant in me just can’t help doing the numbers. Examining the numbers shows that the levy rate was in fact lowered, but it was only lowered by 1%. This resulted in a paltry $4.09 decrease per $100,000 of valuation. But focusing on the levy rate alone doesn’t tell the whole story.
With the dramatic increases in property valuations we have recently seen in Bonneville County, here’s how it looks on paper: (just the county portion) An increase in valuation of $100,000 above last year multiplied by last year’s tax rate would be an increase of $408.70. Subtracting $4.09 for the 1% levy rate decrease brings your tax increase to $404.61.
The total county budget from that same budget sheet is $90 Million and change. $90 MILLION. Again from the accounting, that is about $800 for every man, woman and child living in Bonneville County! The question becomes why does it cost so much for the county government?
County taxes and budgets are increasing faster than the rate of inflation and population growth combined. It is time to fix this problem.
This is only one of the issues, that after long consideration, has prompted me to run for county commissioner. I am uniquely qualified and my commitment to you is to fix these problems. 
Difficult times require that we get these budgets under control and get property taxes down. I hope you will join me in this effort.

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