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Eye On Boise

Prior to tax-cut hearing, Rev & Tax introduces new exemption, this one for free clinics

This morning in the House Rev & Tax Committee, House Majority Leader Mike Moyle’s bill to cut individual and corporate income taxes is up for its hearing. Before it got to that, the panel agreed to introduce a bill from Rep. Clark Kauffman, R-Filer, to provide a sales tax exemption for purchases by free clinics in Idaho; the state has 10 registered free medical clinics. “If you give a $100 donation to a free medical clinic and they have to go buy something with that, they have to pay $6 of that back to the state. I just don’t think that’s right,” Kauffman told the committee.

His bill would add registered free clinics to the existing sales tax exemption for certain health-related entities. He said Idaho’s registered free clinics are located in Sandpoint, St. Maries, Lewiston, Caldwell, two in Garden City, two in Boise, one in Twin Falls, and one in Pocatello. The committee voted unanimously to introduce the bill.

When Moyle was asked if it wouldn’t be better to reduce exemptions than to just lower tax rates, he said every existing exemption has a constituency, and past efforts to do away with them haven’t gone anywhere, even one he carried that ended up passing but getting vetoed “You had one introduced today and I’ll support that - I think it’s a noble cause,” Moyle said. But he argued that the state should also lower personal and corporate income taxes, and said it can afford to do that this year.

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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