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Eye On Boise

The new property tax bills

Here are the 12 new property tax bills just introduced in the House:

• HB 418, sponsored by House Tax Chair Dolores Crow, R-Nampa; Rep. Jim Clark, R-Hayden Lake; and Rep. Mike Moyle, R-Star; to replace half the property tax funding for schools with money from the state general fund, and also to cap school property tax budgets to 3 percent growth a year plus new construction. The bill would be retroactive to Jan. , 2006.
• HB 419, sponsored by the same three lawmakers, to eliminate the “foregone balance” that allows local government agencies that forego tax increases to recoup some of the foregone taxes in later years. This bill also would be retroactive to Jan. 1.
• HB 420, from the same three lawmakers, to put a moratorium on increases in taxable values for one year.
• HB 421, from the co-chairs of the legislative interim committee on property taxes, Rep. Dennis Lake, R-Blackfoot, and Sen. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint, to increase the homeowner’s exemption from the current maximum of $50,000 to $75,000 and index it for inflation. Retroactive to Jan. 1.
• HB 422, from the co-chairs, to expand the “circuit breaker” exemption for low-income seniors and the disabled, raising the income threshold to qualify from $22,500 a year to $28,000, and raising the maximum benefit from $1,200 to $1,320. Also retroactive to Jan. 1.
• HB 423, from the co-chairs, to count land value in the homeowner’s exemption.
• HB 425, from the co-chairs, to set up a tax deferral program for seniors.
• HB 424, from the co-chairs, to replace half of current property taxes that fund schools with money from the state general fund.
• HB 426, from the co-chairs, to allow schools to charge impact fees on new residential construction.
• HB 427, from the co-chairs, attempting to close a property tax loophole for land speculators and developers.
• HB 428, from Rep. Wendy Jaquet, D-Ketchum, to close the same loophole in a different way.
• HB 429, also from Jaquet, to repeal the $75 million cap lawmakers imposed last year on an existing property tax replacement program for schools, which this year left schools short more than $8 million.

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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