A House panel has introduced legislation that would allow every city in Idaho except Boise to ask residents to approve the kind of local sales tax now reserved for “resort” cities.
The measure introduced Thursday on a unanimous voice vote by the House State Affairs Committee was sent to the House Revenue and Taxation Committee, which in the past has flatly rejected local-option tax proposals.
Idaho law now allows only cities with 10,000 or fewer residents and where the economy depends primarily on recreation and destination-resort business to seek voter approval for the resort cities tax.
That list includes only Lava Hot Springs, Sun Valley, Ketchum and Stanley. Bills to include cities with as few as 20,000 residents have been quickly shot down in the past.
The new proposal drafted by the Nampa Chamber of Commerce would raise the limit to 55,000 residents and eliminate the requirement that recreation and resort business dominate the local economy. The legislation would authorize a local-option tax on motel stays and restaurant food and beverage sales if at least 60 percent of city voters approve.
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