Reclaim Idaho’s “Quality Education Act” ballot initiative has been officially qualified for the November ballot with a higher tax increase than proposed.
Over 100,000 signatures were turned into the Secretary of State’s office recently. The SOS has now officially reviewed the signatures and certified the ballot initiative for the November ballot and will be known as Proposition 1.
The ballot initiative will raise taxes by approximately $573 million, which is higher than what Reclaim Idaho had initially proposed.
When Reclaim Idaho initially proposed the language for the ballot initiative, their proposal was for a $323 million tax increase by increasing the corporate tax rate from 6.5% to 8%. Additionally, it would raise the tax rate on individuals earning more than $250,000 or married couples earning more than $500,000 to 10.925% by creating a new and sixth tax bracket.
However, during the 2022 Idaho legislative session, the Idaho legislature reduced the tax rate across all tax brackets by passing HB 436, which Gov. Brad Little signed into law.
The tax cut passed in 2022 cut taxes by $251 million.
HB 436 reduced the number of tax brackets from five to four. The lowest tax bracket remained at 1%, the second lowest tax bracket went from 3.1% to 3%, the third highest tax remained at 4.5%, and the highest tax bracket went from 6.5% to 6%. An additional tax bracket at 4.5% was also eliminated.
The corporate tax rate was also reduced by the passage of HB 436 from 6.5% to 6%.
Under the Quality Education Act, the SOS confirmed to Idaho Dispatch that the original tax structure would be restored. That means that the five tax brackets would exist, not four, plus the new sixth bracket proposed by Reclaim Idaho.
As a result of the way the language is written, tax rates on the second and fourth brackets would also increase from their current rates with the restoration of the old brackets.
Reclaim Idaho is proposing the tax in order to increase pay for teachers and other education costs but states that the money cannot be used to increase salaries for principals, superintendents, or other administrators. Additionally, the group says funds would be used for special education, career-technical courses, music, and other programs.
Idaho Dispatch reached out to Mayville to ask how he felt about getting the public behind the initiative, whether he was nervous about the initiative becoming officially approved, and what the group’s messaging will be with the SOS office confirming that the old tax brackets would be restored.
Additionally, Idaho Dispatch asked if the group would be changing the tax bracket information as well as the estimated tax increase number because of the old brackets being restored.
Mayville has not yet responded to our request, but we will update the article if a response is received.
Note: Photo courtesy of Chelsea Harada.
Tags: Ballot Initiative, Chad Houck, Idaho Secretary of State, Luke Mayville, Quality Education Act, Reclaim Idaho, taxes