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Eye On Boise

Tue., March 31, 2009, 11:07 a.m.

‘Trigger’ amendment fails

With all the amendments to raise the amount of the gas tax increase in HB 135 failing, the House took up an "economic trigger" amendment proposed by Rep. Bill Killen, D-Boise. He said it would delay any tax increase until Idaho's economy improves. "At that time .. an increase would be appropriate," Killen told the House. Rep. James Ruchti, D-Pocatello, said, "This would delay any tax increase that this body might decide to pass this year to increase transportation revenues until the economy does return to better times and our constituents are better able to afford it." Rep. JoAn Wood, opposing the amendment, said she recognizes that there's a problem with roads. If economic times improve, she said, lawmakers could then take that into account in their votes. "It's probably not good tax policy in my mind to obligate ourselves to a particular number that may be triggered in the future," she said. "I think we can take the responsibility to do something about that." Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, said lawmakers shouldn't put the issue on "autopilot." The amendment failed.

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Eye On Boise

Short takes and breaking news from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.