The House Revenue & Taxation Committee has agreed unanimously to introduce four grocery tax bills: One from Gov. Butch Otter to create his targeted grocery tax credit, which gives a much higher credit to low-income Idahoans and costs the state an additional $22 million a year; one from Rep. Cliff Bayer to raise the existing grocery tax credit from $20 to $50 for everyone, and from $35 to $70 for those over age 65; one from House Minority Leader Wendy Jaquet, D-Ketchum, to eliminate half the current 6 percent sales tax on groceries, at an annual cost of $90 million; and one from Reps. Phil Hart, R-Athol, and Jim Clark, R-Hayden Lake, to phase out the sales tax on groceries over four years, by taking a percent and a half off each year.
Rev & Tax Chairman Dennis Lake said he’ll schedule a hearing next week on all the bills. “We want to expedite it, because this is one of our linchpins for doing the whole budget scenario,” Lake said. “So we’ll push it right along.”