Here’s Lt. Gov. Brad Little’s full statement urging Gov. Butch Otter to sign HB 67, the grocery tax repeal bill, into law:
“Fairness and competitiveness are two essentials for Idaho’s tax system. This is why I support the Legislature’s vote to repeal the sales tax on groceries. HB67 will lower the tax burden for all Idahoans while greatly improving border community businesses.
“Repealing the grocery tax is just one component of the type of comprehensive tax reform Idaho needs. The reduction in the unemployment tax on businesses, and finding a way to lower Idaho’s income tax levels, among other things, are what I hope the Legislature will continue to evaluate.
“Idaho’s economy is strong, but not every community is feeling the full effects of our growth. Idaho’s economy faces many challenges, including a difficult tax climate when compared with our neighboring states. Montana, Wyoming, Oregon, Washington, and Nevada do not tax groceries and Utah taxes groceries at a lower rate than its general sales tax. This repeal would quickly make Idaho’s tax code more competitive.
“I appreciate the constituents who contacted my office over the past few years about this issue, voicing their support for repeal. I heard you loud and clear and I stand with you on the need for grocery tax reform. Thank you to the Legislators who heard their constituents as well, it was reflected in the broad based support this bill received in the Idaho House and Senate.”
Little already has announced he’s running for governor in 2018, when Otter finishes his third term; former GOP state Sen. Russ Fulcher also is an announced candidate, as is Boise physician and developer Tommy Ahlquist. Fulcher has made repeal of the 6 percent sales tax on groceries one of the top issues in his campaign.