A $600 million tax cut was approved by the House of Legislature by a vote of 57-13, with no Democratic support, and contains a one-time rebate of $350 million and a permanent income tax decrease of $250 million for individuals and enterprises in the future, respectively.
Income tax cuts
According to Post Register, the opponents of the bill claim that the cuts disproportionately favor wealthier individuals and that they harm important government services such as education. The money collected by the state from online sales taxes will be used to offset a portion of the income tax rebate.
Democratic House Minority Leader Ilana Rubel said that when the state has yet to invest a single penny in the budget toward education, infrastructure, or other critical necessities, this bill is literally taking from the poor and giving to the rich.
Meanwhile, Gov. Brad Little, a Republican, supports a $300 million boost in education spending and a $200 million increase in infrastructure spending. However, other members emphasized that spending proposals on education and infrastructure have yet to be addressed and are weeks away from being voted on in the House.
Budgeting Bills for education and transportation
According to U.S. News and World Report, budget bills featuring significant increases in education and transportation spending are expected to be voted on in the House or Senate in the coming weeks, with the education budget likely to face opposition from far-right-wing politicians in either legislature.
The Senator, Regina Bayer, expressed concern that the income tax cut package is being interpreted as a tax cut for the wealthy only.
However, she stated that there are other proposals in the process, including one that would boost the tax return for sales taxes on groceries and another that would increase a property tax exemption, both of which she believes will assist seniors to remain in their homes.
The Post Register revealed that a study conducted by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, a nonpartisan tax policy organization based in Washington, DC, found that a person in the top 1 percent of Idaho income earners earning $557,000 or more annually would benefit by $13,254 from the package’s total tax benefits.