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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Moyle tax-cut bill on tap, but Senate tax chair may be inclined to wait…

The House Revenue & Taxation Committee is scheduled to consider introducing tax-cut legislation from House Majority Leader Mike Moyle today, to cut Idaho’s top two personal income tax rates and its corporate tax rates by a tenth of a percentage point each and raise the...

Tax panel wraps up its work with no definitive outcome

The Legislature’s Tax Working Group has wrapped up its work with no definitive outcome. “At least the members of the committee got an education on some of the history and why tax policy is the way it is,” said Sen. Steve Vick, R-Dalton Gardens. “I...

Lawmakers: Long-term vision needed on tax policy

The Legislature’s Tax Working Group is back in session, to discuss four proposed tax-cut bills. “These are just drafts. We’re not here to finalize a piece of legislation,” said Co-Chair Rep. Gary Collins, R-Nampa. “We’re not here to take any votes, per se, on anything....

Testimony: ‘Benefits are highest at the top of the income spectrum’

Lauren Necochea, director of the Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy, told lawmakers on the Tax Working Group this morning that the proposed cut to the top personal income tax rate from 7.4 percent to 7.3 percent would benefit wealthier Idahoans. “Not surprisingly, the benefits are...

Light turnout for Tax Working Group hearing on tax cut bills

There’s a very light turnout for today’s Tax Working Group hearing on four tax-cut bills; there are only about a dozen people in the audience at the Lincoln Auditorium. “We thought we might have a little bit bigger crowd today, but I’m sure there are...

Idaho Commerce chief: Don’t cut taxes, invest in talent

At its first public meeting Tuesday, a panel of a dozen Idaho legislators looking into possible tax-relief plans heard some surprising counsel from the state’s commerce chief: Don’t cut taxes. Instead, outgoing Commerce Director Jeff Sayer urged the lawmakers, invest in a more talented state workforce.

Eye on Boise: School donations bill stalled in House

Legislation proposed by the state Board of Education to extend a popular tax credit for donations to schools has been hung up in a House committee for more than six weeks as a freshman North Idaho lawmaker pushes for amendments. Rep. Heather Scott, R-Blanchard, said she wants to more clearly require that school foundations, museum foundations and the like really pass the donations along to the schools and museums they’re formed to benefit.

Otter urges school funding hike, tax cuts in State of State message

BOISE – Idaho Gov. Butch Otter called for boosts to school funding and tax cuts for businesses and top earners in his State of the State message to a joint session of the Legislature on Monday, drawing enthusiastic applause from lawmakers. But the chairman of the Senate tax committee, Sen. Jeff Siddoway, R-Terreton, wasn’t convinced. “Quite frankly, we saw those same proposals last year as far as tax cuts,” Siddoway said after Otter’s talk. “But I’m dead serious about fixing education. … Then we’ll be able to see if there’s going to be enough revenue left over to do any tax reductions. I’m pretty skeptical.”

Smart Bombs: Idaho voters face Ybarra test

When Idaho schools superintendent candidate Sherri Ybarra was asked why she omitted a divorce from her personal history, she told the Idaho Statesman, “My brain doesn’t operate in the past.” It isn’t humming on all cylinders in the present either.

Budget wrangle begins anew

WASHINGTON – A day after the nation edged away from a “fiscal cliff” that had threatened economic doom, the realization that other ominous fiscal battles loom tempered any sense of celebration Wednesday in the nation’s capital. The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, passed late Tuesday and signed Wednesday by President Barack Obama, addressed just one of the three major issues that composed the cliff, the expiring Bush-era income tax cuts. The government faces more jarring fights in about two months, as it needs congressional approval to borrow more money and as automatic spending cuts – delayed this week to allow more time to find better alternatives – are scheduled to kick in.

Region’s lawmakers divided on tax vote

This week’s votes to keep income tax rates from rising for most Americans split the House delegations in Washington and Idaho but unified the two states’ senators behind the last-minute deal. Two Washington Democrats in the House voted against the tax changes, while the state’s three other Democrats and all four Republicans helped approve it.

Lawmaker addresses fiscal cliff

With Americans electing a divided government, U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers has softened her position on compromising over scheduled tax increases before the end of the year. Echoing comments made by House Speaker John Boehner, McMorris Rodgers said Wednesday she is open to pursuing a solution to the so-called “fiscal cliff” before the end of the year and believes “everything needs to be on the table” in those discussions. The scheduled tax increases and massive budget cuts that comprise the cliff were hotly debated in the election, with President Barack Obama and most Democrats arguing that tax increases should be limited to those earning more than $200,000 a year. Republicans, including McMorris Rodgers, had argued they would block any plan that raised taxes on anyone.