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Idaho Senate Kills Tax Bill, Wants Different Approach To Funding Roads

Jimmy Emerson, DVM
File photo of the Idaho Great Seal inside the capitol building in Boise.

The Idaho Senate decided to kill a major overhaul to Idaho’s tax system Tuesday.

The bill would have eliminated the grocery tax, moved toward a flat tax for income and increased the gas tax to pay for roads maintenance.

The ambitious proposal had passed the Idaho House and was co-sponsored by the House Speaker. But after meeting with Republican senators, Majority Leader Bart Davis said there just wasn’t enough support on the Senate side to move ahead with the bill.

“This action should be considered as a desire to shift the focus to other transportation funding solutions and out of respect for our colleagues in the body across the rotunda,” Davis said.

Idaho faces a $262 million annual shortfall in road and bridge maintenance. This bill would have raised about about a quarter of that through a 7-cent increase in the gas tax. It also would have lowered income taxes for top earners.

Sponsors said it was intended to make Idaho more economically competitive.