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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

Bill: Tips are for services, not goods

Senators have voted unanimously in favor of HB 213, legislation co-sponsored by a bipartisan group of senators and representatives from throughout the state, to clarify - retroactively to Jan. 1 - that a tip is not part of the sales price for a restaurant meal. The issue came up when the state Tax Commission suggested otherwise to an Idaho restaurant, suggesting it owed thousands in back sales taxes. The bill says, "The gratuity or tip can be either voluntary or mandatory, but must be given for the service provided and as a supplement to the service provider's income." The bill's statement of purpose says it's designed to be clear that services aren't subject to the sales tax; it earlier passed the House unanimously, and now goes to the governor's desk.

The Senate also voted unanimously in favor of HB 163, to ban the use of restraints on pregnant prisoners while they're giving birth; backers said that's not the practice in Idaho's prisons now, but no one wants it to become the practice. That bill, too, now heads to the governor.

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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