The following Op-Ed was submitted by Art Da Rosa. Note: Op-Eds do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of those at the Idaho Dispatch.
With the State of Idaho sitting on a $1.6B surplus, the Governor and members of the legislature are touting a bill, HB 436, that proposes to reduce the top individual and corporate income tax rates from 6.5% to 6%. In addition, $350M is proposed to go toward a one-time tax rebate returning approximately 12% of Idaho’s personal income tax or $75 for each taxpayer and dependent, whichever is greater.
While members of the legislature and others are applauding this initiative, others are not so pleased. Representative Tammy Nichols (R-Middleton) labeled it, “breadcrumbs.”
I agree with Nichols. When tax cuts are proposed, legislators often act like they’re doing us a great favor. Forgotten is the fact that this is our money, taken by the government through over taxation. Beyond that, is an income tax reduction/rebate something that Idahoans have been clamoring for in recent years? Hardly. Most of the conversations have been on property tax relief and, to a lesser extent, the elimination of the grocery tax.
Property taxes, after “death taxes” may be the most odious form of taxation. Property taxes amount to a lien on your property, forcing you to continue to generate income to, essentially, pay the government a fee to keep the possessions that you have already worked for. Under such a system, your property is never truly yours. You’re only renting it.
Far too many of Idaho’s legislators and State officeholders have made a habit of ignoring what Idaho citizens want from their government while touting, with much fanfare, the return of a fraction of what has been taken from them, as if they were incredibly benevolent.
Idahoans need real tax relief, which starts with cutting government waste and reducing the size of the bloated Idaho bureaucracy. If I’m elected to the Idaho Senate, I vow to fight for the elimination of the grocery tax and to work to deliver the property tax relief that Idahoans are asking for.
I ask for your vote on May 17.