State Budget
3:41 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Idaho Ends Budget Year With More Cash Than Planned

Credit Tax Credits / Flickr Creative Commons

State officials say Idaho closed the 2014 fiscal year with $7.2 million more than anticipated.

The Idaho Division of Financial Management reports that June's general fund receipts of $294.4 million were $8.4 million above economists' projections. Overall, last month's boost helped raise the final fiscal year totals to $2.81 billion.

That means general fund dollars went up 2.4 percent compared to the previous fiscal year.

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4:40 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Poll Finds Idahoans Would Consider Higher Taxes If It Means Better Roads

A road in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.

A new poll finds Idahoans might not be so tax-averse when it comes to funding improvements to the state's roads and bridges. About 54 percent say the economic benefit is a compelling reason to increase revenue for transportation infrastructure.

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3:17 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

Use This Calculator To Figure Out Your Idaho Property Taxes

Credit liz west / Flickr Creative Commons

Property values in Ada and Canyon Counties went up substantially this year. Chances are, if you own a house here you’ve received a letter from the county assessor saying your home is worth more. In Ada County the average increase was 18 percent.

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Idaho Legislature
11:53 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Tax Incentive Plan Passes Senate Again In Revote

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

An Idaho tax incentive bill is again bound for the governor's desk after sponsors say they've addressed concerns from the attorney general's office.

The bill, which would give up to 30 percent in tax incentives to job-creating businesses, already passed the Senate Monday.

But Senate leaders called for a revote after the attorney general's office released an opinion saying it could leave Idaho on constitutionally shaky ground.

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Idaho Legislature
12:52 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Business Tax Incentive Bill Heads To Idaho Senate Revote After Changes

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / StateImpact Idaho

Legislators say they'll change a tax bill before trying it again on the Senate floor, after the attorney general's office said it might leave Idaho on constitutionally shaky ground.

The bill, which would give up to 30 percent in tax incentives to job-creating businesses, cleared the Senate 29-6 Monday.

But that was before Deputy Attorney General Chelsea Kidney released an opinion that giving a seven-member board the final word on who gets tax breaks could result in unequal treatment of identical businesses.

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Idaho Legislature
11:20 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Idaho House Panel Clears Income Tax Cut, Final Passage Unlikely

Credit 401(K)2013 / Flickr Creative Commons

Business leaders worried Idaho's tax rates are too high compared to its neighbors notched an initial victory when the House Revenue and Taxation Committee approved a bill aiming to make the state more competitive.

The Republican-led panel voted Thursday to back the Idaho Chamber Alliance's proposal to cut corporate and individual income tax rates by a percentage point annually over the next six years, for an eventual $125 million cost.

Once completed, it would leave Idaho's top tax rate at 6.8 percent, lower than Montana's 6.9 percent.

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Idaho Legislature
11:15 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Idaho Commerce Director Pitches New Business Tax Incentive

Idaho's lackluster quiver of tax incentives make it flyover country for many companies looking to relocate or expand.

That's the verdict of Department of Commerce Director Jeff Sayer, who pitched a plan Friday he says would change that.

Sayer's proposition: What if Idaho allows companies that hire new, well-paid employees to recoup up to 30 percent of their income, sales and payroll taxes after they've proven to have met their expansion promises?

That way, he says, the state would protect itself from companies that don't follow through.

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Idaho Legislature
9:59 am
Tue February 11, 2014

GOP Lawmakers Push Dumping Idaho Tax On Food

Shoppers pay Idaho's 6 percent sales tax on groceries.
Credit Qmnonic / Flickr Creative Commons

Republican lawmakers including Sen. Russ Fulcher aim to eliminate Idaho's 6 percent tax on groceries starting July 1, 2016.

Fulcher, a Meridian Republican running against Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter in the May primary, and Boise Sen. Cliff Bayer are promoting the proposed legislation.

Currently, Idaho gives nearly all its residents a credit when they file their annual tax returns, to offset surcharges they pay on groceries.

This tax credit has been expanded since legislation passed in 2009.

Come next year, it's due to be $100 for everyone, and $120 for seniors.

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Idaho Legislature
2:54 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Idaho Republican Wants To Shift Slice Of Sales Tax To Fund Roads

A view from U.S. 20 in central Idaho.
Credit TelstarLogistics / Flickr Creative Commons

A Republican lawmaker proposes digging into Idaho's sales tax revenue to fund highway and bridge projects.

Rep. Joe Palmer, House Transportation Committee chairman, pitched the idea Monday.

Typically, Idaho pays for roads from fees assessed on gas or vehicle registrations.

Palmer's measure would depart that tradition, but only after Idaho's revenue reaches certain thresholds.

Once general fund income hits $2.91 billion and education funding exceeds $1.4 billion — both pre-recession records — he'd begin taking a slice of the growing sales tax for roads.

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Idaho Legislature
5:35 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Idaho House Speaker Meets With Economist Over Tax Shift Plan

House Speaker Scott Bedke says he's met with Idaho's former chief economist over a proposal to shift $80 million from a grocery tax credit to individual and corporate income tax cuts.

Bedke, a Republican from Oakley, met with Mike Ferguson, the top economist at the state under six governors before retiring four years ago.

Bedke's proposes to redirect money now given to Idaho families to offset sales tax they pay on groceries to income tax cuts, in hopes of making Idaho a more-attractive place for businesses to relocate.

Idaho Legislature
10:36 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Grocery Tax Shift Could Increase Burden On Middle-Income Idahoans

Credit Dave Dugdale / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho's former chief economist says families of four earning more than $117,750 would see lower taxes, should lawmakers adopt House Speaker Scott Bedke's proposal to shift money from a grocery tax credit to individual and corporate income tax cuts.

Mike Ferguson, chief economist for six governors including Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter, said Thursday families earning less would likely see a higher tax burden, according to his calculations.

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Idaho Legislature
9:51 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Idaho House Speaker Proposes Tax Cut, Shift

Republican House Speaker Scott Bedke was elected to his leadership post in Dec. 2012.
Credit StateImpact Idaho

This story was updated at 2:15 p.m.

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter would consider a proposal from House Speaker Scott Bedke to shift money from a popular grocery tax credit to individual and corporate income tax cuts.

"Convince me," Otter told The Associated Press Wednesday, on how he's approaching Bedke's proposal.

Idaho residents now claim the grocery credit, worth up to $100 for each person in a household, or $120 for those over 65.

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10:42 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Why Idaho's Schools Chief Wants Lawmakers To Collect Internet Sales Tax

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho's Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna told lawmakers Wednesday they must consider collecting the sales tax on Internet purchases in order to fund improvements to the state's education system.

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Idaho Legislature
9:57 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Idaho House Panel Delays Debate Of Tax Rules For Same-Sex Couples

A House panel delayed discussion of new rules forbidding same-sex couples legally married elsewhere from filing joint Idaho income tax returns.

House Revenue and Taxation Committee Chairman Gary Collins said numerous people wanted to testify, so he put it off until Tuesday.

According to temporary State Tax Commission rules, same-sex Idaho couples legally married elsewhere must recalculate federal taxes as singles before filing state taxes.

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Tax Policy
5:35 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Idaho Narrows The Business Equipment Tax Exemption With New Rules

The new rules mean cell towers, underground storage tanks, poles and towers, signposts, pipelines and conduit, and railroad track are defined as real property, excluding the items from the personal property tax exemption.
Credit Shalbs / Flickr Creative Commons

Certain utility companies in Idaho won't see as large of a tax break as many anticipated now that the state has more clearly defined what types of property qualify for the business equipment tax exemption.

The Idaho Tax Commission Tuesday unanimously approved two rules that define the difference between real and personal property.

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Gay Marriage
6:00 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Why Idaho’s Tax Change For Married Gay Couples Could Set The State Up For A Lawsuit

Credit Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Legally married gay couples can file federal taxes together, regardless if it's legal in the state they live in, since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a ban on federal benefits for gay couples is unconstitutional.

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2:15 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

How To File Your Taxes In Idaho When You're Gay And Married

The Idaho Tax Commission
Credit Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled this summer on gay marriage, it opened the door for same-sex couples around the country who can now file federal taxes together, no matter what state they live in.

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5:42 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Sun Valley Tax Votes Shine Spotlight On Challenges Facing Small Town Airports

File photo of planes waiting for a take off slot at Friedman Memorial Airport in Hailey, Idaho.
Credit DieselDemon / Flickr Creative Commons

A ballot measure in the Sun Valley area is emblematic of the challenges facing small airports across the West. Residents of Hailey and Ketchum, Idaho decide Tuesday whether to raise city taxes to subsidize commercial airline service.

Voters in the neighboring Idaho resort towns are being asked to raise the lodging and rental car tax, and in the case of Ketchum add a 1 percent retail sales tax, although groceries and gas would be exempt from the higher tax.

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5:31 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Idaho's Tax Burden Is Lower Than 49 States

Credit Dave Dugdale / Flickr Creative Commons

When it comes to their taxes, Idahoans can count their blessings, according to a new report that concludes the state's tax burden is lower than all but two states.

Only Alabama and South Carolina have a lower per capita tax burden.

In an annual report delivered on Wednesday, the Idaho State Tax Commission says Idaho also has the lowest tax burden among Western states.

The calculations are based on tax revenue in 2011.

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10:34 am
Wed October 9, 2013

Idaho Revenue In September Jumps Ahead Of Forecast

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho saw a jump in tax revenue in September, a month when collectors raked in $16 million more than forecasts and put the state's finances ahead of schedule amid a steadily recovering economy.

Total monthly receipts were $263 million, or 6.4 million more than forecasts.

The Division of Financial Management reported Tuesday that Idaho's tally three months into fiscal year 2014 is just over $700 million, or about 1.6 percent more than forecasts.

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