The House is in its amending order now, amending HB 245, the bill from IACI to phase in the elimination of the personal property tax on business equipment. Democrats offered an amendment to trim the business tax cut back to just its first year – in which an estimated 81 percent of Idaho businesses would be relieved of all personal property tax. That would exempt personal property up to $50,000 at each business. The Democratic amendment also called for the state to reimburse counties for the cost, which would be just under $10 million, rather than shift it to other property taxpayers in the county.
HB 245 as written would shift that first-year cost to other property taxpayers, then have the state pick up the cost for bigger breaks in subsequent years, adding up to nearly $100 million a year by 2015. Seven Republicans rose to support the 19 Democrats in their proposal – including Reps. JoAn Wood, R-Rigby, and Steven Thayn, R-Emmett – but the 26 votes fell short of a majority. Next, the House debated amendments to the bill proposed by House GOP Caucus Chair Ken Roberts, R-Donnelly that were negotiated with IACI. Those mostly minor amendments passed.