What The Idaho Supreme Court Grocery Tax Means For Shoppers And Lawmakers

Jul 19, 2017

Tuesday, the Idaho Supreme Court ruled in favor of Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter’s decision to veto a grocery tax repeal passed by the legislature this spring.

To recap: After the legislative session adjourned, the governor vetoed a bill written to get rid of the grocery tax. In response, a group of lawmakers filed suit against that veto – arguing the governor had made his veto decision too late – after the legal timeframe allowed. But now the court has agreed with the governor, and his veto stands.

So what does the court’s decision mean for Idaho consumers? Well, you’re still going to pay that 6 percent tax at the grocery checkout line. But Boise State political science professor emeritus Jim Weatherby says that doesn’t mean the issue just goes away.

“Well it will be interesting to see what the 2018 legislature does and whether or not one of their first orders of business will be repeal of the grocery tax credit," says Weatherby. 

The court decision also says that before adjourning the session the House and Senate must present all legislation to the governor. Up to now, legislative leaders had regularly delivered bills days after adjournment.

Weatherby says the requirement to submit bills earlier could drag out the end of the session, keeping lawmakers from far-flung parts of the state in Boise longer.

Find reporter Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill

Copyright 2017 Boise State Public Radio