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Hope Remains for an Express Lane on ID Grocery Tax Update

March 22, 2007

"An update for Idaho's grocery tax credit is waiting for an express lane to open at the legislature. There's talk that the Senate will put together another version of the bill in the last few days of the session. This follows Governor Otter's veto of legislation that didn't tie the credit increase to a sliding scale based on income. Boosting the grocery tax credit was part of the discussion when the sales tax was raised last year. Idaho Senator David Langhorst says he's disappointed it's been such a fight".

"So, here we had an opportunity where everyone was sensitive to that, and we thought we were going to come in there and do this. We still could do it."

An interim committee this summer will take a close look at Idaho's tax structure, possibly including an analysis on removing the sales tax on food. That's what Wyoming voted to do this year.

Langhorst says the examination of tax structure will include the long list of sales tax exemptions on the state's books, something he says is long overdue.

"Every year, we haggle over every last cent that we're going to spend on schools. But we have all of these exemptions; they roll over year after year without any deliberate thought."

Deborah Smith/Deb Courson, Public News Service - ID