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Property tax relief bill clears House panel, heads to full house

Posted at 5:01 AM, Feb 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-23 09:32:20-05

BOISE, Idaho — The House is considering another bill that would provide property tax relief for Idahoans.

According to Boise State University's annual public policy survey, 46% of Idahoans think their property taxes are too high and nearly 38% of Idahoans want property tax relief over other types of tax relief.

This proposed legislation aims to provide this relief by changing the way Idaho cities and counties set their budget.

The state currently sends 11.5% of sales tax revenue from in-person shopping to cities and counties to fund services.

As our media partners at Boise Dev report, the amount distributed to cities has been growing in recent years.

This bill would require half of any increased revenue from sales tax to go towards cutting the part of the budget that property taxes fund, reducing residents' property taxes.

"So to give you an example, if the numbers continue the way they are, it's 50 million new dollars next year, which means half of it would go to tax relief. Those local taxing districts would still receive $25 million, which is more than they received last year, in money that they could do whatever they want with," the bill's sponsor, Majority Leader Rep. Mike Moyle of Star, said.

Not everyone is on board with this bill, though. Some members of a House panel say they're concerned about how the bill impacts local control.

"I would remind you this is new money they didn't have before. They will keep continuing to get what they got before, this is just the new money and it's just half of it," Moyle said in response.

The Idaho Association of Counties is concerned it could have a negative effect long-term.

"When we have these recessionary periods of time, you won't have any growth to reduce property taxes with, but you're essentially resetting the amount of sales tax that you're receiving and into the future years, the growth to get you back to where you were already at would then be used to provide tax relief as well, so it would take even longer for those revenues to come back to where you were originally," Seth Grigg, the Executive Director of the IAC said.

Assistant Minority leader Rep. Lauren Necochea said Tuesday she can not support the bill.

"What I don't want to do is sit here in Boise and force service cuts on local taxing districts when I don't have enough information about whether or. Not they have ample law enforcement, whether or not they have good emergency response systems in place," she said.

The bill is headed to the full house after passing the house revenue and taxation committee with a recommendation that it pass. We could see debate and a vote in the coming days.