Idaho Senate Transforms Tax Bill To Grocery Tax Repeal

Mar 17, 2017

Repealing Idaho's 6 percent grocery tax drew bipartisan support in the state Senate.
Credit Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

What began as a tax cut bill in the Idaho House morphed into a repeal of the state's 6 percent grocery tax when the legislation was presented in the Senate Thursday.

The unforeseen transformation of the tax bill into a grocery tax repeal came as a surprise to many – even to supporters of the repeal effort who hadn't gotten a hearing from the House Revenue and Taxation Committee. According to the Spokesman Review, GOP lawmakers in the house preferred cuts to income tax instead of sales tax.

The grocery tax repeal drew bipartisan support in the Senate. Under the new version of the bill, the $100 per-person grocery tax credit would be phased out over two years. After it disappears, the sales tax on food would be dropped.

The Republican Senator from Sandpoint, Shawn Keough, said she’s consistently voted to do away with the grocery tax, against the wishes of party leadership. She said it seems wrong to tax a basic necessity of life.

The amended bill still has a procedural gauntlet to run before becoming law.

Across the nation, 37 states don't charge sales tax on comestibles.

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