$200M tax cut bill moves forward on party-line vote

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BOISE — Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter’s $200 million tax cut bill was approved for consideration on a party-line vote by a House panel Jan. 30.

“Arguably, this bill is the biggest tax reduction bill that we have seen here in the years that we have been in the legislature, and maybe in Idaho history,” House Majority Leader Mike Moyle said.

The bill, H 463, would conform to federal tax code for fiscal 2018, implementing a .475 percent income tax cut for individuals and corporations. Individuals are holistically expected to pay roughly $100 million more when changes to all exemptions and deductions are factored in.

The estimated reduction Idaho’s general fund revenue is $104.5 million. 2018’s general fund is expected to be nearly $3.63 billion, according to state projections released two weeks ago.

The tax cut bill offers a $130 child tax credit for children. Otter’s originally proposed an $85 credit that Democratic leaders said would hurt families.

House Minority Leader Mat Erpelding wondered, “Is it common to run a conformity bill with this many change in the actual code… it just seems to me that this is a really big bill built on some speculation for the next year.”

Moyle responded, “This lets the taxpayer know what’s coming this coming tax year in regard to their federal taxes and it also lets them know what’s going to happen in regard to their state taxes. So, you kind of need them together to make it work.”

The committee’s two Democratic lawmakers voted against it.

H 463 must still go before a public hearing.

Kyle Pfannenstiel covers the 2018 Idaho Legislature for the University of Idaho McClure Center for Public Policy Research.

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