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.