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House votes 54-13 in favor of $126 million income tax cut bill

The House has voted 54-13 in favor of a $126 million cut in income taxes over the next six years; HB 548 now moves to the Senate side, where Senate Local Government & Taxation Committee Chairman Jeff Siddoway already has said he doesn’t plan to give it a hearing, as he favors instead further expanding the property tax exemption for business equipment. The bill would lower every individual and corporate income tax bracket’s rate by a tenth of a percent each year for the next six, eventually lowering the top rates from 7.4 percent down to 6.8 percent. If the state’s general fund revenue didn’t grow by at least 3 percent in a particular year, the next installment wouldn’t happen.

“This is a simple little bill,” said House Majority Leader Mike Moyle, who is co-sponsoring the bill with Speaker Scott Bedke, R-Oakley. “One of the problems that we have is that our income tax and our corporate tax are on the high end of things.” Moyle said the bill would reduce them “so that we’re more competitive, especially with our surrounding states.”

Moyle told the House that Idaho’s per-capita tax rates “rank in the middle on most of them.” However, the state Tax Commission’s annual study of how Idaho’s per-capita tax burden compares to other states, posted in October on the commission’s website, shows that Idaho’s overall tax burden ranks 49th nationally out of 51, and 11th regionally out of 11 western states. Both rankings, based on 2011 taxes, the most recent available for comparison, were unchanged from 2010.

HB 548 now moves to the Senate, where it’s likely to land in Siddoway’s committee.

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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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