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Otter signs first bill, cutting taxes for Idaho employers

UPDATED: Wed., Jan. 31, 2018, 5:22 p.m.

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter has signed the first bill of the year into law – the unemployment insurance tax cut for Idaho employers.

“This is about a year overdue,” Otter said.

The cut will save Idaho employers $115 million over the next three years without costing the state general fund anything; it’s possible due to a robust unemployment trust fund that’s built up well beyond the level needed for reserves.

The bill was proposed last year, and though widely supported, it got killed in the crossfire between the House and Senate over other tax cuts. This year’s version contains an emergency clause, making it retroactive to Jan. 1, 2018.

Senate President Pro-Tem Brent Hill, R-Rexburg, said, “This is a tax cut for every single employer in the state of Idaho – everyone who has employees is going to get a tax cut here. We’re working on a few other tax cuts as well, but right now this is a good base hit, and we’ll see if we can get some home runs a little bit later in the session.”

Otter and GOP lawmakers also are backing a sweeping income tax cut bill that was introduced a day earlier.