With a unanimous vote, the House Revenue & Taxation Committee has voted to introduce a grocery tax credit increase with a complicated mechanism that would give the poorest Idahoans a bigger boost, but still would give all Idahoans an increase. The change would cost the state budget $23.8 million the first year, another $18.1 million the year after, another $16.4 million the year after that, and it would continue to rise, though the increases could be halted by lawmakers due to economic conditions. Under the bill, Idahoans whose taxable income is only $1,000 or less a year would get a $55 per person grocery tax credit next year, while anyone making more than that would get $30 per person. The current credit is $20. The bill also extends the grocery tax credit to those who make too little to be required to file income tax returns; they’re excluded from the current credit.
The bill has 19 co-sponsors: Reps. Bayer, Vander Woude, Eskridge, Henderson, Nonini, Anderson, Chadderdon, McGeachin, Mathews, Roberts, Labrador, Kren, and Hagedorn, and Sens. Fulcher, Keough, McKenzie, Goedde, Broadsword and Hammond.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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