Gov. Butch Otter has signed into law the long-sought break for Idahoans who have been paying full 6 percent sales taxes on their grocery purchases, ever since the Legislature raised the sales tax from 5 percent to 6 in August of 2006. “After a year and a half, we finally have arrived at a compromise,” Otter said. “It took a while to get it cooked up.” An audience of anti-hunger advocates applauded the signing. “I think it’s a good step in the right direction,” said Bishop Michael Driscoll of the Catholic diocese. “I think any time we do programs especially for the poor, it shows the compassion and the mercy of people in this state. We should be known by our compassion and care for others, especially in things so basic as hunger.”
Under the bill, most Idahoans’ grocery tax credit will rise from the current $20 to $30 this year – on next year’s income tax returns – while those who make less than $25,300 for a family of four would get a $50 credit per person. Seniors would get an additional $20. And in subsequent years, the credit would rise $10 a year, economic conditions permitting, until it hits $100 for everyone. You can read my full story here at spokesmanreview.com.