You would think that getting some tax relief through the Idaho legislature would be an easy task. The House and Senate are over 80 percent Republican, and Republicans are for tax cuts. Right?
Sorry, but you are wrong!
Yes, there are times when a tax cut may not be prudent, but the Idaho state government is awash in your money. For the current fiscal year, which began last July, revenues are up 8.8 percent, or $176 million, through February. Sadly, the appropriations for the upcoming fiscal year are $176 million higher than the current fiscal year.
Yes, Idaho politicians want to spend the money, all of it. They might leave a few million dollars for a token tax cut, should such an idea be taken up during the final weeks of the session.
Please keep in mind that the spending for most items of government, associated with income and sales tax revenue, is general fund spending. So, no, the higher spending has not gone to repair roads and bridges. Public school support will get $101 million more than in 2017, but another $75 million looks to be spread to virtually every other agency of government.
Perhaps the only way we are going to get any tax cuts in this state is to hold the line on government growth. Higher spending has become an addiction – even for Republicans, that will not be easily broken.