The IACI bill to phase in repeal of the personal property tax on business equipment – which would give Idaho businesses a $100 million-plus tax break when it’s fully implemented – passed the House Revenue & Taxation Committee this morning on an 11-7 vote, after two long days of hearings. Before the final vote, a motion to amend the bill to cap the repeal at $50,000 of value – which would eliminate the tax for the vast majority of Idaho businesses, but leave it in place for the largest – failed on an 8-10 vote. Interestingly, both votes were bipartisan. Rev & Tax Chairman Dennis Lake said he was pleased that the bill passed, but asked if it’ll go all the way, he said, “probably not.” The reason: Problems, identified during the hearing, with how the bill affects things like new bonds and levies and the 3 percent cap on growth in local government property tax budgets.
“My sense is that even if it does pass, this is an issue that we’ll probably have to look at again,” Lake said. He opposed the $50,000 cap, saying he wouldn’t want to impose any tax on big business that wasn’t also imposed on small businesses. “You either have a business tax or you don’t have one,” he said. The bill now moves to the full House for consideration. Click below to see who voted which way.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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