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Politics & Government

Two Constitutional Amendments Make Headway At Idaho Legislature

House Speaker Scott Bedke, Speaker, House Speaker
James Dawson
Boise State Public Radio

A pair of constitutional amendments are moving forward at the Idaho capitol.

One of those constitutional amendments from Democratic Rep. John Gannon would start levying property taxes on land owned by the government, but leased to private businesses. Money raised from that would only be able to be used to lower taxes among residential and commercial property owners.

Right now, the physical buildings on that land are taxed, but cities, counties and even colleges and universities avoid paying taxes on the land itself.

Gannon’s amendment was sent to the House floor yesterday. That’s despite questions as to whether it would also apply to land leased from counties for ranchers to graze their cattle on.

The second constitutional amendment from House Speaker Scott Bedke saw overwhelming support. That proposal would lock in the amount of state legislative districts at 35. Right now, Idaho could have as few as 30 and as many as 35, which is how many we have right now.

He’s worried rural districts would grow even larger in geographic size during the next round of redistricting that begins next year.

The 65-3 vote on the House floor means it’s now headed to the Senate where it needs two-thirds of legislators to pass.

Follow James Dawson on Twitter @RadioDawson for more local news.

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