House Majority Leader Mike Moyle’s tax-cut bill died in the Senate Local Government & Taxation Committee this afternoon, in a meeting that lasted no more than “five or six minutes,” according to committee Chairman Jeff Siddoway, R-Terreton.
Moyle’s bill, HB 380, was the only item on the agenda. “Rep. Moyle came in and presented his HB 380, the short version,” Siddoway said. “There was no one signed up to testify. We wanted to move to the 14tth Order for some possible amendments. Sen. McKenzie made the motion to do that, and we couldn’t get a second. That was the meeting, short and sweet.”
Sen. Jim Guthrie, R-McCammon, vice chairman of the committee, was in another committee, the Commerce Committee, and had asked a fellow tax committee member to text him so he could be there for the vote on Moyle’s bill. But when he got the text, the Commerce committee was in the middle of a vote. “Then he texted me and said, ‘Never mind,’” Guthrie said. “I did want to be there. … Obviously, HB 380’s been around for a while.” The House passed the bill on Feb. 2. “I think the intent was to try to amend it. I don’t think this is the end of efforts to address tax relief this session.”
Siddoway said, “I’m going to go find out what Plan B might be, or if there is a Plan B. And if there’s not a Plan B, we’re going home.”
He said he was backing amendments for HB 380. “We were going to radiator-cap this bill when it got up to the floor, and put in the nexus bill,” a bill regarding internet sales taxes that’s now on the House’s amending order, “and reduce the income tax levels for corporations and individuals all the way through the five brackets by 1/10 of 1 percent, every bracket.” He said the idea was to eliminate the bill’s grocery tax credit increase.
HB 380 currently would decrease the top two individual income tax brackets and the corporate tax bracket by a tenth of 1 percent, while also increasing the grocery tax credit. It has an estimated fiscal impact of $27.8 million to the state general fund next year. Siddoway said the changes he envisioned would result in a $27.4 million reduction income taxes, combined with an $11 million increase in sales tax collections from online sales taxes, for a net fiscal impact of $16.4 million to the general fund next year.