The state of Idaho has a $1.38 billion tax surplus as it closed out the fiscal year.
Elected officials and political organizations spoke out about the surplus after it was announced. Gov. Brad Little said in a press release,
Idaho’s economy is red-hot because of the resiliency of our citizens and businesses. Combined with years of fiscal conservativism, reining in state spending, and our status as the least regulated state in the country, we will be able to provide Idahoans even more tax relief and make key investments where they count. As Idahoans grapple with ever-increasing prices for gas, food, energy, and everything in between under Biden’s watch, in Idaho we are leading the way and showing the rest of the country how to create prosperity for our people.
Little went on to say,
This year, we made the single largest investment in public schools in state history. The strength of Idaho’s economy and the sound management of state government mean we will continue to be able to invest record amounts into schools, roads, water, and other key areas to keep up with growth and improve the lives of the people we serve.
You can read Little’s full press release here.
Idaho House Minority Leader Ilana Rubel (D-Boise) criticized the surplus stating,
It is nothing to be proud of to have over $1B on hand when we’re 51st in America in education funding and can’t fill >900 teacher positions bc the pay is so low. We have a “surplus” of bad priorities.
Idaho Dispatch also reached out to Wayne Hoffman with the Idaho Freedom Foundation and Mike Satz from the Idaho 97% for their thoughts on what Idaho should do with surplus taxes.
While Mike Satz did not return our request for comment, Hoffman told Idaho Dispatch,
It looks to me like the state has plenty of money to do some very aggressive tax relief, and I’m hoping that that’s the top priority; is that doing something substantial with regard to lowering the property taxes, doing something about the grocery tax, eliminating the grocery tax.
I’m sick to death of hearing politicians talk about investments that they’re gonna make with taxpayers’ money. They’re collecting as much now in taxes as the state collected entirely just about 20 years ago, and so it’s time to do something radical; greatly reduce the property taxes, eliminate the grocery tax, and perhaps even cut the income tax by half. I mean, there are just a lot of really good things that can happen.
If it’s gonna be a combination of investments and tax cuts, you’re gonna get a tiny tax cut and a bunch of money being spent on useless government programs. All of that money, every single bit of it, $1.3 billion, needs to go back to taxpayers, and it needs to go back in some pretty big relief in property tax, income tax, and getting rid of the income tax.
What do you believe should happen with Idaho’s tax surplus?
Let us know in the comments below.
Tags: Brad Little, Idaho 97%, Idaho Democrat Party, Idaho Freedom Foundation, Idaho Republican Party, Ilana Rubel, Mike Satz, Wayne Hoffman