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Idaho Dispatch

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Lawmakers React to Idaho’s 1.6 Billion Dollar Budget Surplus

By • December 22, 2021

Update on Dec. 23rd: Rep. Sage Dixon (R-Ponderay) sent Idaho Dispatch the following message about his thoughts on what to do with Idaho’s surplus:

My hope is that our excess revenue will allow us to take a closer look at the Federal Dollars we receive and see what we may be able to fund ourselves in order to decrease the influence the federal government has over Idaho policy.

Idaho’s budget surplus has now reached 1.6 billion.

The projected tax surplus the state has brought in has been higher several times this year than what the state thought would come in. So the question on some people’s minds is, “What do we do with the surplus?”

Idaho Dispatch reached out to several lawmakers to get their thoughts on what should be done with the surplus.

Rep. Brooke Green (D-Boise) told Idaho Dispatch,

Idaho has a unique opportunity to use its larger than anticipated surplus to invest in some very important and needed improvements for its citizens.

First, we need to invest heavily in the infrastructure of our state. Many of our roads and bridges are in desperate need of an overhaul and I believe much of the surplus should go to developing and repairing that infrastructure. Doing so will help Idaho continue its growth and is needed to support our increasing commerce. We can’t keep kicking this can down the road and this is the perfect opportunity to make this investment.

Second, Idaho needs to make big investments in education. Our kids need a lot of help, and our teachers are underpaid for the incredible work they do. We have a great opportunity to invest more in our underfunded education system.

Third, we also need tax relief for Idahoans. Our coummunity is still recovering from COVID-19, and while we have the opportunity, we should be putting money back in their pocket. With the rising costs of goods, steep property taxes, and housing affordability, many Idahoans are hurting. We have the opportunity to provide some relief with this surplus.

Finally, Idaho needs a lot more resources for Idahoans who need help with behavior health. From our youth who struggled greatly during the pandemic to adults who also need some extra help from professional behavior health specialists, Idaho is greatly underfunded. We are going to need these resources more and more and Idaho needs to stay up to date with modern behavior health resources.

Idaho Dispatch had also reached out to Sen. Michelle Stennett (D-Ketchum) and Rep. Ilana Rubel (D-Boise) but have not received a response at this time.

Rep. Brent Crane (R-Nampa) told Idaho Dispatch,

Let’s not forget that the money we appropriate belongs to the taxpayers of Idaho. If we have a budget surplus (extra money), then I think we should return the money to the taxpayers of Idaho.

Sen. Christy Zito (R-Hammett) also responded to Idaho Dispatch’s request for comment. Here is what she said,

It is only right that the tax on food be repealed, as inflation is increasing the “hidden tax” that we are paying on food exponentially. It will be an immoral act if this session ends and there has not been real property tax relief. Beyond that, the debt money should be returned to the feds. We are indenturing our children for many many generations to come.

Idaho Dispatch also reached out to Rep. Ron Nate (R-Rexburg), Rep. Tammy Nichols (R-Middleton), and Rep. Sage Dixon (R-Ponderay).

Here is what Nate told Idaho Dispatch about the surplus,

Return it to the taxpayers. Families are struggling in this Biden economy, and they deserve to keep every dollar they earn. We should repeal the sales tax on groceries and radically reform the property tax in Idaho.

Nichols responded to Idaho Dispatch’s question with the following statement:

Idaho really needs to give tax relief to all Idahoans. Several in the legislature have tried recently to bring about good pieces of legislation by eliminating the grocery tax and truly reducing property taxex. Unfortunately leadership prevented those bills from coming to fruition. I am for both of those options as well as reducing or eliminating a wide array of taxes and returning money back into Idahoans pockets. I will be supporting and voting for real tax relief for the people of Idaho.

At the time of this writing, Dixon has not responded to our request for comment.

What do you think Idaho should do with the surplus?

Let us know in the comment section below.

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Tags: Budget, Idaho, Surplus

21 thoughts on “Lawmakers React to Idaho’s 1.6 Billion Dollar Budget Surplus

  1. How about:

    1.) Ivermectin, HCQ, etc. available over the counter with no Doctor’s prescription’s required?

    2.) How about using some of the funds to investigate and potentially prosecute: Hospital Administrators, Doctors, Central District Health Officials, Politicians who have mislead, gave false information about covid cures and methods and have hurt the People of Idaho?

    3.) How about investigating, prosecuting and removing from office Scott Bedke and his minions for his Kangaroo Courts against his and little’s political rivals?

    4.) How about parent/student school vouchers that can be used anywhere in Idaho and can be used online for out of Idaho schools?

    Let’s drain Idaho’s Swamp now that funds are available.

    1. SPOT ON, IDAHO SEVEN! WELL SAID!! (If giving the money received from the Feds is not an option… would rather give all that blood money back and reclaim Idaho’s independence from the DC Swamp).

  2. Give all covid money back to the fed and end the emergency NOW. This is bs. Let those who fear take care of themselves. I will not be my brother’s keeper and they will it be mine.

  3. Get rid of property tax for senior citizens. Most of us are living on such limited income the high taxes on our property are very hard. Especially if you fall just above the income limit for the additional help, that few thousand dollars over really cripples a senior who already has so many expenses age related. At least raise the income limit on the extra tax relief. Why should seniors have to keep paying for the schools. So much of our tax system is corrupt.

    1. Then vote for Ammon Bundy. Hes the only candidate who has a plan to get rid of property tax for everybody and without removing any essential government services. Voting for anybody else means you are supporting property tax forever.

    2. Definitely agree with capping it for seniors… ala Prop 13 in CA. People should be able to plan for their retirements without worrying about whether the government can increase taxes and push them out of their homes. That’s crap. Some of the best and most conservative states in the country (Idaho, Texas) fail on this one, and it amazes me.

  4. In order that Idaho’s House & Senate accomplish the various above mentioned goals & comments: Things need a shakeup.

    Suggest electing a new and competent Speaker of the House.
    Suggest electing a new and competent Senate Pro Tem.
    Suggest kicking the quagmire of the sticky people off committees so that bills can get to the floor for a vote. There are so many committee members that need to be replaced, yet Patti Anne Lodge should be the first booted out the door among many others.

    Get the Federal Government out of Idaho.
    Return The People’s monies back to The People.


    1. Good idea, Ridgeback! At first thought. Remember that 1.6 Billion is our money. Why should be give our money back to DC when the money they sent to Idaho is money we will have to pay for too. Aren’t we being double-taxed?

  6. From an out of stater who loves your state, if I can offer a suggestion… IMO you need one of the VERY FEW good things to come out of CA (back when we were a RED STATE)… Prop 13. Or at least a variation on it. It’s morally reprehensible that a government can literally tax a home owner out of their home. At the very least, it should be capped for seniors with fixed incomes. To work your entire life and plan for retirement, only to watch your property taxes double and drive you out of your home is sick. Ideally, cap it for everyone. At the very least, cap it for those who are most vulnerable and have already paid their dues. You don’t need to eliminate it as some have suggested. But at least allow people to plan for it.

    1. Idaho did pass it’s own Prop 13 type law. It only took our corrupt house, senate and executive branch politicians about two years to make it void.

      BTW they were mainly republicans. A lot of the Idaho Swamp still exists.

      Vote Conservative, not necessarily the Republicans that have the media’s eye.

  7. We should sponsor a ballot initiative to cap property tax for seniors and to prevent the Cruel collection practice of seizing a citizens home by foreclosure. The tax could accumulate and then be collected at time of death either by the heirs paying or a sale of property.

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