"This has been a very depressing day."
Idaho Falls council member Kenneth Taylor shook his head and bemoaned the full day of bad news at the 64th annual taxpayers conference at the Boise Centre.
Adding to the negative tone was a bit of partisanship served up late this afternoon as Democratic Sen. Elliot Werk of Boise shared a panel with House Majority Leader Mike Moyle of Star.
Werk put up one slide on a big screen behind the panel. It read, "There ain't no free lunch."
"That's it," said Werk. "That's my whole power point," he joked.
"We have a public that now believes they can get a free lunch. They believe that they can get the services they want without having to pay for it. But I do believe that at some point, the legislature has to make some very, very difficult decisions."
Werk criticized Republican efforts to lower taxes at a time when revenues were too low.
"I hope we're not going to continue trying to compete with other states on whose taxes are lower," said Werk. "If we're in a race to the bottom, there will always be somebody who beats us to attract businesses."
But Moyle was having none of it.
"It's all about jobs," said Moyle. He shared a conversation he had with a friend who told Moyle that he was seriously considering about moving to Utah.
"Because their tax rate is 5 percent," Moyle said. "He told me that for what he was paying Idaho, he could buy another home in Utah. Ellliot (Werk) and I may disagree on this, but I truly believe that you're going to hear about an actual reduction in taxes in our next session."