Idaho Transportation Department

You may have noticed higher registration fees when you’ve paid for new stickers for your car or truck. That’s part of a new law, and a new revenue stream for the Idaho Transportation Department’s (ITD) backlog in road restoration and preservation. Now ITD says it is already wrapping up the first projects using the new influx of cash.

UnShuttered Soul~ Good to be busy! / Flickr

Starting July 1, Idahoans will see new laws that range from how much they pay at the gas station to giving teachers a pay bump.

Next week marks the start of a new fiscal year in Idaho. This means a $95 million transportation plan designed to help repair Idaho's crumbling bridges and roads will go into effect. For Idaho residents, vehicle registration fees are going up $21 and gas will cost 7 cents more because of higher taxes.

The federal government and many states have offered car buyers incentives to venture into the electric car market. But now some states are going in a different direction.

Welcome to Idaho
Craig Cloutier / Flickr Creative Commons

A six-member joint panel has reached a compromise that would partially address Idaho's roads funding shortfall.

The new plan was passed unanimously by the Legislature's special joint conference committee on Friday afternoon after two full days of negotiations. The proposal would raise $95 million — far short of the $262 million annual shortfall the state has faced for road maintenance since 2010.

Idaho Capitol Dome
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

The Idaho House has overwhelmingly approved a plan to increase Idaho's grocery tax credit by $10 per person.

The House Revenue and Taxation Committee introduced the plan less than two hours earlier on Thursday morning. The House then voted 68-1 to send the proposal to the Senate.

House Majority Leader Mike Moyle from Star is backing the proposal. The legislation is estimated to cost almost $14 million in general fund dollars.

The ping-pong of transportation plans between the Idaho House and Senate promises to make this a long week at the Capitol.

The Idaho Senate decided to kill a major overhaul to Idaho’s tax system Tuesday.

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An aggressive three-part proposal to eliminate sales tax on groceries, lower income taxes on Idaho's top earners while hiking the fuels tax by 7 cents per gallon has passed the Idaho House.

House lawmakers voted 53-17 Monday to send the bill to the Senate for approval.

Majority Leader Mike Moyle says the bill will boost Idaho's economy by attracting more businesses and providing families with more money they would have spent on grocery taxes.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

A three-part tax bill that would eliminate the grocery sales tax and lower income taxes on top earners has passed an Idaho House panel.

The bill by House Republican leadership would also include a seven-cent fuel tax increase, which would raise $65 million per year to address Idaho's transportation funding shortfall.

Under the tax plan, Idahoans in the top income tax bracket would see their rate drop from 7.4 percent to 6.7 percent.

Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

An Idaho House panel has endorsed expanding cuts to Idaho's personal property tax, a move that supporters say will help county officials attract companies while competing with other regions.

The House Revenue and Tax Committee approved the new measure Monday. 

According to the proposal, counties would no longer be restricted to giving tax breaks solely to manufacturing plants with $3 million worth of investments.

Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

An Idaho House committee has killed a Republican legislative leader's multi-faceted plan to tackle the state's growing transportation funding shortfall.

The House Transportation and Defense Committee voted 14-2 on Friday to block the proposal.

The bill would have raised $135 million by raising fuel taxes and registration rates, —roughly half of the state's $262 million annual transportation deficit.

Daniel Foster / Flickr Creative Commons

An Idaho House panel has introduced a plan to collect nearly $3 million in sales tax from online sales.

Republican Rep. Lance Clow from Twin Falls says the plan would allow out-of-state companies to voluntarily collect sales tax on online purchases in Idaho.

The House Revenue and Taxation Committee introduced the bill Tuesday 9-6, drawing opposition from Chairman Gary Collins and House Majority Leader Mike Moyle.

Currently, the federal government does not force out-of-state companies to collect state sales tax on online sales.

Adam Cotterell / Information from the Tax Foundation

The Tax Foundation released its annual state tax comparison Tuesday. The non-partisan research group says Idahoans pay a little more than $3,000 a year per capita in state and local taxes. That means 9.5 percent of all Idaho personal income goes to local and state taxes. This puts Idaho right in the middle when you rank all the states, but the Gem State looks a little different if you compare it to its neighbors.

reb / Flickr Creative Commons

Tax identity theft is increasing across the country and Idaho is no exception. The number of cases of people using someone else’s name and social security number to file a false tax return more than quadrupled last year in Idaho.

In 2013, there were 74 cases of tax identity theft. Last year, that number jumped to 352 says Idaho Tax Commission's Doreen Warren.

GoSheShe / Flickr Creative Commons

Republican lawmakers in Idaho said there’s still a long road ahead to agreeing on a plan to fix roads and bridges.

But they said a trial balloon sent up this week has succeeded in starting the conversation among normally tax-averse politicians.

On Monday, the House Transportation and Defense transportation committee introduced a proposal to raise the gas tax by 8 cents per gallon and diesel by 12 cents per gallon. Thereafter, those taxes would automatically rise by a penny a year.

Committee chair Joe Palmer sponsored the package.

Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy

Idaho lawmakers are talking behind the scenes about creating a flat-rate income tax and raising the sales tax, a proposal the non-partisan  Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy says would increase taxes for everyone who makes less than $173,000 a year.

Idaho Capitol Dome
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

The non-partisan Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy finds the governor's budget proposal isn't balanced, when taking into account wildfire fighting costs and ongoing expenses. 

The center's analysis shows Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter's recommended budget doesn't include money to pay for last year's $27.7 million firefighting bill. The governor's office says it doesn't budget for wildfires because costs vary from year to year. Instead, lawmakers pay for fire costs the year after they're incurred.

"Depending on what the legislature chooses to do with spending and tax cuts, growth in the economy should cover the fire costs," Otter spokesman Jon Hanian says.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

If you’re in a same-sex marriage and you live in Idaho, filing state taxes just got a little simpler.

When the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals legalized gay marriage last year in Idaho, that law change also meant changes at the Idaho Tax Commission and for same-sex couples filing joint tax returns. Now, married same-sex couples will only have to fill out one federal form when they file their taxes, instead of the three that had to be filed under the old rules.

Boise State Public Radio

The Idaho lawmaker who has the power to kill tax bills says there will be no new tax breaks unless beginning teacher salaries boost to $40,000 a year.

Republican Sen. Jeff Siddoway threatened to hold proposed tax cuts hostage in order to get more funding for Idaho's public schools even before the legislative session kicked off on Monday. Siddoway sharpened his demand on Tuesday, saying teacher salaries must increase sooner than what Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter has outlined.