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Monday, May 20, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye On Boise

Hoffman to lawmakers: Cut taxes, spend less, ‘let the free market work’

Wayne Hoffman of the Idaho Freedom Foundation addresses the Legislature's Tax Working Group on Tuesday (Betsy Z. Russell)
Wayne Hoffman of the Idaho Freedom Foundation addresses the Legislature's Tax Working Group on Tuesday (Betsy Z. Russell)

Wayne Hoffman, president of the Idaho Freedom Foundation, called for cutting taxes, telling lawmakers on the Tax Working Group that North Carolina got good results when it cut its top individual income tax rate from 7.75 percent to 5.75 percent and its corporate rate from 6.9 percent to 5 percent. “The economy in North Carolina is in high gear and tax policy is helping drive that,” Hoffman said.

Hoffman called for removing Idaho’s sales tax from groceries, saying only 14 states tax groceries. He also recommended eliminating “special-interest tax breaks” and “market-manipulative tax incentives and handouts,” and lowering overall rates, and said Idaho should spend less.

Rep. Robert Anderst, R-Nampa, asked Hoffman about research that legislative budget analysts conducted at his request, which showed that Idaho ranks last in the nation, by far, for its per-capita spending on state and local government services. Hoffman said he didn’t think that was relevant. “I think the most important thing is how you lower the tax burden on individuals and businesses,” Hoffman said. “So yes, it’s commendable that you spend less than other states, but you’ve got some work to do on your tax code.”

Rep. Janet Trujillo, R-Idaho Falls, said some tax incentives work. “We have benefited from that in my part of the state,” she said. “We have new businesses in Idaho Falls because of those incentives.” Hoffman responded, “Let the free market work, the free market is a wonderful thing. There is no force in the universe that has lifted people from poverty as successfully as the free market.”




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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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