Legislative budget writers have set a budget for the state Department of Revenue and Taxation that restores funding for 31 of the 47 temporary tax auditors who were laid off as a result of this year’s budget holdbacks. “When you take a look at this, when we get into a downturn like this, one of the things you don’t want to do is cut off the hand that feeds you,” said Rep. Darrell Bolz, R-Caldwell. “That’s why we’re putting this back in.” The restored auditors are expected to bring in $7.5 million in state revenue through their work in collecting taxes due, far offsetting the $425,000 cost of reinstating them. That doesn’t bring an overall boost to the budget, however, because the governor’s budget recommendation didn’t show the loss in funds due to eliminating the auditors; the change just brings the budget back in line. The Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee approved it on a unanimous vote.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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