BOISE, Idaho — A lengthy 26-page property tax bill passed the house with a 48-20 vote less than 24 hours after it was first introduced to lawmakers.
According to the bill text:
It provides property tax relief in 2021 to homeowners by increasing the homeowner's exemption to $125,000. It reduces property taxes for homeowners who qualify for the circuit breaker program by increasing the benefit up to $1,500, depending on need.
“It increases the circuit breaker. It shifts taxes in those components. Some of them come from the general fund, but it also does other things. This is a property tax relief bill,” bill sponsor and House Majority Leader Mike Moyle (R)-Star said.
For local taxing districts, the bill reduces the amount available to tax on new construction and annexation. In total, this creates a cap of 8% in any budget year. Some lawmakers were confused about the bill and said they did not have enough time to even review it.
“I've heard you say this bill is better than nothing and this is all we have. Why is this all we have? Why is this process done in 24 hours, when we had an interim committee over the summer, we’ve had all this session to talk about taxes? And it’s here. Take it or leave it. This is all there is,” said Rep. Bruce Skaug (R)-Nampa.
“This stuff is complicated. Things shift every which way and you know, one of the ways that we could’ve been cushioning folks with lower values homes is to increase the value they get from 50% to 55% max. We're not doing that here and so we're going to have people seeing their property taxes go up and were going to have to explain that to our constituents,” said Rep. Lauren Necochea, (D)-Garden City.
“I can’t help it if the good lady from 11 doesn’t understand it. It provides tax relief. I don’t know how else to say it,” Moyle said.
Idaho lawmakers are breezing through bills in order to wrap up the session soon, as we approach day 115. To watch live, click here.