BOISE, Idaho — Idaho's largest-ever tax cut is now moving to the Senate floor after passing on a party-line vote in the Senate Local Government and Taxation Committee Thursday.
More than 20 people signed up to testify either for or against the bill, will ultimately received two no votes from the Committee.
The House voted 57-13 last week to approve the $600 million cut that includes $350 million in rebates and $250 million in ongoing tax cuts for people and businesses. The $350 million is coming in part from the state’s $1.9 billion budget surplus. The ongoing tax cuts reduce the top individual income tax rate and corporate income tax from 6.5% to 6%.
Backers say the tax cuts return money to the people who paid it.
"We’re very proud to have gotten meaningful legislation done this early in the session,” Majority Leader Mike Moyle (R-Star), cosponsor of the bill, said in a statement. “We’re not done, either; there is plenty more work to be done on taxes this session, and we have more good bills coming to continue to reduce the tax burden on Idaho citizens and businesses."
Opponents say the tax cuts mostly benefit the wealthy at the expense of basic government services such as education.
“This bill literally takes from the poor and gives to the rich at a time when the state has yet to allocate a single penny in the budget toward education, infrastructure or other vital needs," House Democratic Leader Ilana Rubel said in a statement. "This is not how responsible government should work. Fix the schools, and the bridges and the critical problems first, then consider whether giant tax cuts that overwhelmingly benefit the wealthy and most profitable corporations make sense.