Gem State Roundup
Competing property tax relief bill using sales tax revenue introduced in Idaho Senate
The Senate Local Government and Taxation Committee introduced a bill Thursday to address Idaho’s homeowner’s exemption by dedicating 4.5% of the state’s annual sales tax revenue to homeowners for property tax relief on a primary residence. (Otto Kitsinger for the Idaho Capital Sun)
The Senate Local Government and Taxation Committee introduced a bill Thursday to address rising property taxes in Idaho by dedicating 4.5% of the state’s annual sales tax revenue to homeowners for property tax relief on a primary residence.
The bill, which has not yet received a bill number, is sponsored by Sen. C. Scott Grow, R-Eagle. The sales tax revenue would be calculated as a subtraction from property tax for homeowners, and the revenue would become available to the local units of government that collect property taxes, according to the bill. It is similar to House Bill 77, which was introduced in the House Revenue and Taxation Committee on Feb. 2 but has yet to receive a hearing.
While the House bill allotted $150 million in immediate relief from the state’s surplus for the 2023 fiscal year, Grow increased the Senate version for the first year to $205 million. The estimated fiscal impact to state revenues in the future is approximately $150 million.
The House version of Grow’s bill was introduced the same day as two other property tax-related bills sponsored by Rep. Bruce Skaug, R-Nampa, and Speaker of the House Mike Moyle, R-Star.
“Basically, what’s happening is there are multiple bills in the House, and I presented mine there, and it’s sitting there,” Grow told the Idaho Capital Sun by phone on Thursday. “Nothing’s happened over there yet.”
Certain deadlines for new legislation to be introduced are also looming over the legislative session, Grow said, and while he’s still working on a compromise with House members, he wanted to get the conversation moving.
“I couldn’t just sit and wait and see if they were ever going to hear my bill or not,” Grow told the Sun.
Tax-related bills typically start in the House, Grow told the committee, but his bill is not raising taxes, so it can start in the Senate.
Sen. Treg Bernt, R-Meridian, said he was excited for the discussion and glad to see it introduced early on in the session. Bernt is a former member of the Meridian City Council.
“I appreciate that, because your background is with the cities,” Grow told Bernt. “This is not about poking anyone in the eye. This is about helping the homeowners.”
The bill could receive a hearing in the Senate committee in the coming days of the legislative session.
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