Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Grocery tax repeal rejected


Otter vetos repeal of state grocery tax on groceries

Boise—Idaho Governor Butch Otter on Tuesday night vetoed the bill that would repeal of the state sales tax on groceries.

“The costs of this particular proposal are too high and the potential for imminent financial need too great for the small amount of tax relief it would provide,” the governor wrote in his letter to Secretary of State Lawerence Denney.

The veto is no big surprise, Otter hinted that losing the estimated $80-million dollars would impact the state. Supporters rounded up 11th hour support and passed the measure on the final days of the legislative session despite the Governor lobbying against it.

Otter said that in the final weeks of the session that he was worried about flooding doing massive infrastructure to state roads and bridges from the floods and losing tax revenue would lead to major funding shortfalls.

“The income derived from a tax on groceries helps to even out the more dramatic ups and downs in our State revenue stream so that government avoids disruptive and dysfunctional shortfalls and funding holdbacks needed to balance the budget,” Otter wrote.

The Grocery tax repeal, Otter said, “has captured the popular imagination. It purports to provide tax relief for the working poor — a worthy ambition but one already accomplished through the grocery tax credit. The truth is this bill's benefits are largely imaginary while the downsides are many and very real.”

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