Eye On Boise

Tax Commish: State 'not even close' to collecting all unpaid taxes due

During the Idaho State Tax Commission’s budget hearing this morning, Sen. Steve Vick, R-Dalton Gardens, questioned the years-long initiative Idaho has been carrying out to add tax auditors to help close the “tax gap” between taxes owed and those collected. Vick said he’s concerned about a point of “diminishing returns,” saying, “I’m concerned about how many auditors do we have before the taxpayers of Idaho start to feel harassed by the Tax Commission.”

Rich Jackson, Tax Commission chairman, responded, “We haven’t reached to where we’re harassing, but we’ve tried to build to the level that we could. … The law of diminishing returns will more come from the state of the economy than what we’re doing.” He added, “We’ve got quite a few audits out there that we’d like to do that we don’t get to.” Vick pressed, “ But you don’t think you’re anywhere near that point yet?” Jackson responded, “We aren’t even close.”

He said, “We would know when we got there when we were totally caught up on our backlog of audits, and when we did all of the discovery for the out-of-state returns and non-compliance audits, and when we had reached the point where our audits were not realizing any funds.”

Sen. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint, said, “It’s been my experience in constituent work that sometimes the money expended in the audits doesn’t pick up anything. I just hope that you keep that in mind as well.”

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Russell covers Idaho news from the state capitol in Boise and writes the Eye on Boise blog.

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