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Tax break for non-profit homeless shelters passes House unanimously

Rep. Branden Durst, D-Boise, urges the House on Monday to pass HB 435, his bill to grant a temporary, two-year sales tax exemption to non-profit homeless shelters. The House passed the bill on a 70-0 vote. (Betsy Russell)
Rep. Branden Durst, D-Boise, urges the House on Monday to pass HB 435, his bill to grant a temporary, two-year sales tax exemption to non-profit homeless shelters. The House passed the bill on a 70-0 vote. (Betsy Russell)

The House has voted unanimously, 70-0, in favor of HB 435, the measure from Rep. Branden Durst, D-Boise, to grant a temporary, two-year sales tax exemption to Idaho's non-profit homeless shelters. "We're here today because our economy has tanked, people are losing their jobs and they're losing their homes. They need help," Durst told the House. "It's a sign that we're being proactive in addressing the budget crisis that we have this year. ... It will reduce the budget needs for the Department of Health & Welfare and Corrections." Operators of homeless shelters told an earlier legislative committee hearing that the temporary exemption will save them hundreds of dollars in sales taxes on toilet paper, oatmeal and the like, allowing them to house more people for more nights.

There was no debate before the unanimous vote. After the vote, a victorious Durst shared fist-bumps with GOP Reps. Marv Hagedorn and Raul Labrador. The bill now moves to the Senate.




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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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