Friday, February 08, 2008

Rep. Jaquet: Food Tax Update

I am writing to update you on the situation that is surrounding the issue of food tax credits that is again before the legislature this session. Today proved to be an interesting meeting of the House Revenue and Taxation committee as the controversial issue of food tax credit was brought to the table. The bill under consideration today was that of HB 0439. This bill proposes an addition to existing law to provide for income tax credits or refunds for certain resident individuals to offset the cost of sales tax on food.

This legislation addresses the inadequacies of the current law by incrementally increasing this "Food Tax Credit" starting with an increase to $55 for the poorest Idahoans, $30 for all other Idahoans, and an additional $20 for seniors for tax year 2008.

However, the majority of the committee believe that this issue is better accomplished by a repeal of the tax on food, a basic necessity. After numerous testimonials from members of the community and representatives from various churches and organizations it was decided by the committee that the bill, HB 0439 will be held in committee until other options have been brought forth and considered.

One such potential bill is being brought forward by one of our Democratic Representatives, James Ruchti. Our Food Tax Elimination Act proposes an elimination of the 6% sales tax on food by a reduction of 1% per year for six years. Not only does this provide a fiscally responsible and feasible approach to this necessary repeal, but it also has a greater positive impact for those Idaho citizens who are not eligible to receive a refund under the current grocery tax program. In addition to our bill, there are others that will be brought forward for consideration, and I will continue to keep you up to date with the developments surrounding this crucial issue.

Please be sure to keep in touch if you have any questions or concerns about this issue. I can be reached at or 800/626-0471. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you.

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