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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye On Boise

Rev & Tax introduces bill to exempt glasses, contacts from sales tax; all other prescriptions already are exempt

Idaho is one of just six states that charges sales tax on prescription glasses, lobbyist Kris Ellis told the House Revenue & Taxation Committee this morning, and Idaho’s optometric physicians think it’s time to exempt glasses and contact lenses from the sales tax. All other prescription items already are exempt; it’s been that way since Idaho’s sales tax was instituted in the 1960s.

“It is a tax break that will affect over 50 percent of all Idahoans,” Ellis said. The committee agreed to introduce the bill, with just one “no” vote, from Rep. Dan Rudolph, D-Lewiston; that clears the way for a full hearing on it. The measure would exempt glasses from the sales tax next year, costing the state general fund an estimated $1.6 million; and would add contacts the following year, adding another $1.6 million fiscal impact, for a total of $3.2 million.

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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