Senate Assistant Majority Leader Chuck Winder, R-Meridian, opening debate on HB 563, the tax-cut bill, said, "I know that some are willing to support increased funding for teacher pay. I know that some want tax relief. I know that some want money put away in savings. All we have to do is decide our priorities."
He said of the reduction in Idaho's top income tax rate and its corporate tax rate, "It's not a huge amount, but it does make a statement, and I think a very positive statement." Said Winder, "I think even if you got $75 or $100 back, that'll buy some gas, that'll pay for some groceries. It'll have some impact."
The $35.7 million tax cut would go to corporate filers, and to top earners who now pay the state's highest rate for individual income tax. For a single person who doesn't itemize and takes the standard deduction, that equates to a minimum gross income of $36,260 to start getting any tax break. For a married couple filing jointly with no dependents, it's $72,520. For a couple with two children, it's $79,920. Just over 17 percent of Idaho income tax filers would benefit from the cut; taxes for lower earners wouldn't change.
Poverty level for a family of four, according to the Idaho Department of Health & Welfare, is $22,350 a year; for a single person, it's $10,890.