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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

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

Sales tax exemption for glasses, contacts wins unanimous support from House Rev & Tax

The House Revenue & Taxation Committee voted unanimously in favor of HB 75 this morning, to grant a sales tax exemption for prescription glasses and contact lenses. Several Idaho optometrists and the Idaho Retailers Association voiced support for the bill; no one spoke against it. Idaho is one of just six states that charges sales tax on prescription glasses, according to lobbyist Kris Ellis; all other prescription items already are exempt, and have been since Idaho’s sales tax was instituted in the 1960s.

If the bill passed the House and Senate and is signed into law, it would start by exempting glasses next year, costing the state general fund $1.42 million; and then contacts would be added the following year, for a total annual fiscal impact of $2.84 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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