Counties appear to have upper hand on Idaho personal property tax repeal

Idaho Speaker of the House Scott Bedke said a new personal property tax bill will follow the model of House Bill 272, which is sponsored by the Idaho Association of Counties and Idaho Association of Cities.

The new measure will be introduced at 2:30 p.m. Monday by the House Ways & Means Committee, which will meet in the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee hearing room on the third floor of the Capitol. Ways & Means is the “leadership committee,” which is controlled by the speaker.

“It will be a version of the counties’ bill,” Bedke said shortly after the House recessed at noon. The House will reconvene at 3:30 p.m. to allow the bill be formally introduced, receive a bill number, be printed and made available online.

House Bill 272 would replace about $19 million in taxes paid on business equipment with state funds and exempt the first $100,000 of property from taxation.

A competing measure, House Bill 276, authored by the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry, would phase out repeal of the entire tax by 2020, at an ultimate annual cost of $120 million to the state.

IACI President Alex LaBeau said shortly before noon that he was unaware of the new bill or its provisions.

Dan Popkey came to Idaho in 1984 to work as a police reporter. Since 1987, he has covered politics and has reported on 25 sessions of the Legislature. Dan has a bachelor's in political science from Santa Clara University and a master's in journalism from Columbia University. He was a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association and a Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan. A former page in the U.S. House of Representatives, he graduated Capitol Page High School in 1976. In 2007, he led the Statesman’s coverage of the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news. In 2003, he won the Ted M. Natt First Amendment award from the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association for coverage of University Place, the University of Idaho’s troubled real estate development in Boise. Dan helped start the community reading project "Big Read." He has two children in college and lives on the Boise Bench with an old gray cat.

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