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Kent Marmon

State Representative Legislative District 11 Seat B

Biography & Background

I am a native of Caldwell, and a 4th generation Idahoan. My wife, Sylvia, and I have three children and fourteen grandchildren. I have a BS in Business Administration. I served on the Caldwell City Council where I was Finance Chair.
I was also a member of the Board of Caldwell School District. I’m a former owner of a small business that specialized in screen and offset printing. I’ve also served in various retail management levels including acting Store Director of the Caldwell Albertsons and as Operations Manager for two Ace Hardware stores that I was in charge of putting together for a franchisee. When I was 16, I put together a project to build a Senior Citizen-Youth Center and was granted land for it near Memorial Park by the City Council. While the Youth part of the center never materialized, the Caldwell Senior Center utilized the blueprints that I was able to get donated for the project. I was on the Governmental Affairs Committee of the Caldwell Chamber when I owned the business, was founding President of Caldwell Crime Stoppers/Neighborhood Watch and have served in volunteer community in many other capacities through Kiwanis, Scouting and other organizations. I’m no newcomer to the political scene. I’ve been involved in campaigns either as a candidate or a volunteer since I was 12 years old. In my first run at the Legislature against a seven-term incumbent (I always pick the tough races) I received 49.2% of the vote. Over the years, I’ve carefully studied Legislation and have been in constant communication with Legislators and other state elected officials letting them know what I think. Last Session, I put together a draft of an idea to nearly eliminate property tax in Idaho and sent it to Legislative leaders, the germane committees and others. A version of that draft became a bill this Session, and while I don’t like what the current bill does, I’m very much in favor of seeing property tax reform happening in the next year-or-so. I have the experience and talent needed today. I’m qualified, principled and transparent. I’m not timid about taking a stand and fighting for what’s good and right — and I’m a conservative Republican who will come down on the side of freedom and less government every time. At the Republican State Convention in 2014, for example, Maurine Hatfield and I nearly single-handedly kept a very liberal Platform from being adopted. When I’m not involved in politics or political issues, my wife and I love traveling, camping, fishing, crabbing and spending time with our kids and grandkids.

Top 3 Issues:

1. My top issue is to end the crippling effects of property tax in Idaho. Nobody should have to “pay rent” to the government their entire lives. The right to have and hold private property was demanded by our forefathers in the Declaration of Independence. Nobody should lose their life-long investment because they can’t pay taxes on a property that has gone up in value ten-or-more times in value since they purchased it, either. Those who rent are hit with outrageously high rental rates which are due, in part, to full-bore property taxes paid by the owners of the property. The elimination of property tax that is used as the primary revenue for local governments can be realized through designating part of our state sales tax for that purpose. About two cents on the dollar raised through sales tax is enough to eliminate property taxes for all. With the growth of sales in Idaho that created a huge $1.9 Billion surplus, this could even be achieved without raising the sales tax of 6%. However, key to property tax reform is the elimination of sales tax on groceries which will help alleviate our current over-taxing situation. Using a distribution formula similar to the one used to distribute state and federal funds to schools around the state, we could easily distribute the funds needed to operate local governments (cities, counties, highway districts, etc.) [By the way, schools are funded by state and federal funds, and do not rely on property tax for their funding except through Supplemental Levies and Bond Issues.]
2. We’ve got to reel in spending and return government to its proper role. We cannot continue accepting federal money that always comes with strings and more control by the federal government. Our current budget shows that 45% of the revenue is federal money. With the federal government in debt to the tune of over $30 Trillion, this out-of-control spending must stop. We’re all experiencing what happens when the federal government prints more money and floods the market with it — while the stimulus checks, PPP for businesses and non-profits and ARPA money was praised by many for helping bail us out during the pandemic (that has lasted for over two years), that flood of new money caused the out-of-control inflation that we are all suffering through now. Idaho is not alone in finding ways to cut spending and reduce the size of government. It must stop at the federal level, as well. The current multi-Trillion- dollar Biden administration program, “Build Back Better,” might bring about some short-term economic change and maybe even some short-term job creation, but in the end, it is just more government and more spending of money that doesn’t exist. Let people keep more of the earnings from their labor and quit spending it on programs that not only are beyond the proper scope and role of government but are used to re-distribute the earnings of one person to another.
3. The state Constitution guarantees an education to our children. Endowment Lands and other methods to fund a “Normal Education” were set in place early in our statehood. But we’ve got problems — lots of problems. Funding of K-12 education in Idaho is deemed low and unacceptable by some. Others believe that School Boards and others who are in charge of budgeting school dollars are not putting those dollars where they belong. Interestingly, many school districts throughout the state turn to Supplemental Levies that they put on the ballot at times they can expect the lowest voter turnout so they can get them passed, thus increasing our property taxes. We should take a serious look at education and the high costs of administration with 115 school districts in a 44-county state. Surely, that makes absolutely no sense if you think about it. We spend millions of dollars of the now over $4 Billion state budget on schools, not including the multiple levies assessed against property owners. Streamlining, finding ways to cut waste are the keys to solving these challenges. We need to return to education instead of indoctrination, as well. Educators say that indoctrination isn’t happening, but I can give you many examples where it was happening even when I was in high school. It’s worse today with CRT and SEL programs. I want to see full “Educational Choice” for parents, but that’s another subject that I don’t have room to fully explain here. Simply, fund the student, not the institution.

Integrity in Affiliation

Submission: Yes

“I have read the Idaho Constitution and the Idaho Republican Party Platform. Except for the provisions specifically noted below, I support the Idaho Republican Party Platform and accept it as the standard by which my performance as a candidate and as an officeholder should be evaluated. I certify that I am not a candidate, officer, delegate or position holder in any party other than the Republican Party.”

Article I, Section 5 (B)
I don’t believe that government should pick winners and losers in business, thus should not
be granting “business incentives.”
Article I, Section 5 (C)
I believe rather than “encoura(ing) a reduction in property taxes, we should work toward
total elimination of property taxes. I support a major reform of property tax, moving local
government funding from property tax to sales tax (with a repeal of sales taxes on groceries). I
would like to find a means of paying for voter-approved Bond Issues, removing them from
property tax, so that property tax can eventually be eliminated altogether.
Article VI, Section 5
I believe that presidential authority in creating or expanding national parks and
monuments should be eliminated from the Antiquities Act.
Article VII, Section 1
I believe that while “energy independence” is important, we should be working to find the
best, cheapest and efficient energy sources, an idea that supports Article VIII, Section 1 of the
Platform.

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