January 27, 1995 in Idaho

Senators Endorse Tax Control

Associated Press

Senate tax-writers have given unanimous endorsement to a proposed constitutional amendment that would require a super-majority of the Legislature for approval of any future tax or fee increases.

The amendment, endorsed by the Local Government and Taxation Committee on Wednesday, would require 60 percent of the House and Senate to raise user fees or taxes.

It is similar to provisions adopted by a number of other states and to a constitutional amendment that cleared the Idaho House last year but was rejected in the Senate, where 21 of the 35 members opposed it.

The new measure requires a two-thirds vote in both the House and Senate to win a place on the November 1996 ballot. A majority of voters would have to approve to impose the requirement.

The amendment was offered by conservative state Sen. Rod Beck of Boise even though the state’s last tax increase was in 1987 and Republican Gov. Phil Batt and lawmakers in both parties are pressing to cut taxes.

But supporters have maintained that the public is demanding stricter controls over revenueraising measures, particularly in the wake of last fall’s election.

The proposition needs 24 votes to clear the Senate, and 15 current members, including Beck, support it now or supported it a year ago.

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