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Eye On Boise

New issue comes up at Ethics Committee: Hart voted on tax bill killed in tie

Rep. Phil Hart, right, talks with his attorney, Starr Kelso, left, at the House Ethics Committee hearing. (Betsy Russell)
Rep. Phil Hart, right, talks with his attorney, Starr Kelso, left, at the House Ethics Committee hearing. (Betsy Russell)

A new issue has been raised by the Ethics Committee with regard to Rep. Phil Hart. HB 436, which would have prevented taxpayers who hadn't filed returns in a past year from filing later to address those years by adjusting a statute of limitations, is directly applicable to Hart's case; the state Tax Commission ruled that he didn't file for the tax years 1996, 1997 and 1998. Rep. Tom Loertscher, committee chairman, called it "a very interesting piece of legislation." Deputy Attorney General Brian Kane said, "There appears to be an issue with regard to whether or not Rule 38 was invoked."

Erick Shaner, deputy attorney general, told the committee, "This particular piece of legislation would have affected his ability to address those particular years in regard to his subsequent filing ... on his behalf." The bill died on a tied vote in the House Revenue & Taxation Committee, and Hart voted against it without revealing any conflict. The bill was proposed by the state Tax Commission.



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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