November 29, 2021
The runoff election for Mayor of Pocatello takes place tomorrow, Tuesday, November 30…and comes only days after residents began receiving their property tax bills. Many were shocked at the drastic increase in taxes. Some Pocatello homeowners reported increases ranging from 35% to 45%…resulting in thousands of dollars owed in their annual tax burden. Neither will renters be unscathed, as landlords pass on the increased cost of taxes in the form of higher rents.
Even so, it remains an open question as to the extent that Pocatello residents will factor in the vast difference between the two candidates, incumbent Mayor Brian Blad and challenger David Worley, when it comes to City spending. This, even though City spending leads directly to the amount of the tax burden placed on residents. As noted in a recent analysis by Pocatello for Accountable Government Entities, City taxes make up over 50% of the total tax levy that residents face.
Voters have been presented with a clear choice by the candidates with respect to City spending.
Blad, in office for twelve years, argues that the City needs, “continuity in leadership,” and that his policies have, “established a strong foundation for sustainable growth.” He and his allies on the City Council appear to view the current levels of spending as an, “investment.”
On the other hand, Worley notes that Pocatello has the highest tax burden of any similarly sized city in Idaho. He says that, “Other cities around the state provide comparable services and do so with less government, less spending, and lower taxes.” With reducing spending and taxes a major part of his campaign, he argues that the election is, “a choice between ever-higher spending and taxes or true fiscal responsibility that allows you to keep more of your hard-earned wages.”
Tomorrow, Pocatello residents, at least those who vote (in the November election, over 60% of eligible voters did not cast a ballot), will decide which of these two candidates will best serve them, and their families, for the next four years. Will they vote Blad, and a continuation of his policies, or vote Worley, looking for a new direction. We’ll know the outcome tomorrow night.