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Idaho House floats property tax cuts for homeowners

Idaho Capitol exterior
James Dawson
Boise State Public Radio

State lawmakers have introduced three proposals to relieve homeowners from ballooning property taxes seen in recent years.

The three bills introduced Thursday morning approach the issue differently. But Republican Rep. Bruce Skaug said the proposals are born out of frustration with a lack of action by lawmakers.

“We’ve all heard from our homeowners in each of our districts. I have no doubt that they want relief. They wanted relief last year. They wanted relief the year before and we did not deliver,” Skaug said.

His bill would simply re-index the homeowner’s exemption to adjust each year with inflation – something the legislature repealed in 2016.

Another proposal from Sen. Scott Grow (R-Eagle) would divide 4.5% of the state’s sales tax revenue – about $150 million in the first year – among eligible homeowners’ tax bills while subtracting local bonds or levies.

Grow, too, shared Skaug’s frustrations in the legislature only lowering residents’ income tax rates over the past few years. To him, more changes needed to be made.

“I feel that the existing state tax structure is too high as evidenced by the ongoing budget surpluses we’ve had for the last two years,” Gorw said.

The third bill from House Speaker Mike Moyle (R-Star) would use about $300 million from sales tax, money set aside for education during last year’s special session and other funds and divide it among public schools based on attendance.

“They use it for bonds, supplementals, safety issues,” Moyle said.

His proposal would also raise the homeowner’s exemption to $150,000.

All of these bills await a public hearing.

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

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I cover politics and a bit of everything else for Boise State Public Radio. Outside of public meetings, you can find me fly fishing, making cool things out of leather or watching the Seattle Mariners' latest rebuilding season. If you have a tip, please get in touch!

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