Governor Little vetoes Property Tax Relief bill

Idaho Statehouse
Posted at 4:44 PM, Mar 27, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-27 18:44:56-04

BOISE, Idaho — Governor Brad Little vetoed HB 292, also known as the "property tax relief" bill, Monday morning.

HB 292 is a 20-page bill that presented a tiered property tax relief structure for property owners in Idaho and distributed a set amount to school districts to be used for payment of school bonds, levies, future school construction needs, and new bonds. It looked to reduce the number of elections held per calendar year to two, sans emergency elections, revise provisions regarding the state public defense fund, change existing rules about how to use excess cash balances, redefine eligibility requirements for the property tax reduction program, and change the distribution of certain sales tax collections.

“Idaho stands apart from every other state because we focus on making taxes fair, simple, predictable, and competitive. House Bill 292 is not a simple bill. House Bill 292 is a hodgepodge of policy items intermingled with property tax relief,” said Little.

Little also noted that no state has accomplished more tax relief per capita than Idaho in the past four years. The Governor and Idaho Legislature have delivered $2.7 billion in relief to Idahoans by reducing and flattening the income tax, raising the grocery tax credit, providing rebates, providing some property tax relief, and lowering payroll taxes for Idaho businesses.

The Governor released this YouTube video addressing the veto.

The bill had passed overwhelmingly in both the House and Senate before making its way to the Governor's desk.

The Idaho Education Association firmly supports the Governor's decision to veto, noting that HB 292 could risk destabilizing public school finances and puts children's learning at risk. They assert that the bill does not address the over $1 billion in school facilities needed as the state population continues to grow, and express concern that the bill, as is, undermines the ability of local communities to support their schools.

As the current legislative session begins to wrap up, both the House and Senate now have the option of trying to override the governor's veto.