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Idaho Senate approves grocery tax repeal

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Posted at 3:59 PM, Mar 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-22 17:59:47-04

The Idaho Senate has approved legislation repealing the state's taxation on groceries despite receiving strong opposition from both Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter and legislative leaders.

Earlier this month, the Senate rewrote a tax cut proposal after a growing majority of lawmakers agreed they wanted to repeal the grocery tax rather than cut the state's top income and corporate tax rates. Doing so would slash the state's general fund by nearly $80 million.

Republican Sen. Cliff Bayer from Meridian, the bill's sponsor, says repealing the grocery tax will offer the biggest tax relief to the most people. Bayer's amendment also removes the grocery tax credit, which was implemented to help offset the burden of paying taxes on food.

The Senate voted 25-10 on Wednesday to send the proposal to the House.

Otter hasn't said he'll veto the bill. However, if Otter vetoes the bill after the Legislature adjourns, lawmakers cannot come back to Boise to attempt to reverse that decision without permission from the governor.