Slim hope of sales tax reform better than none

The Idaho League of Women Voters is wasting its time with an initiative campaign to reform the sales tax and turn more money loose for public schools.

So says the smart money.

You can see why.

The proposal takes about 20 pages to explain how it would lower the overall rate from 6 to 5 percent, eliminate 22 sales tax exemptions, expand the tax to a dozen services and in the process generate about $424 million more each year for education.

As a rule of thumb, the longer and more complex an idea, the more likely people will run away from it.

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Court Finds on the Unconstitutionality of Public School Fees

In the case filed over the Constitutionality of fees assessed on students, the Complaint said that the Joki Plaintiffs “reluctantly bring this action to require that the school districts refund unconstitutional fee charges against the students and their families, but do so with the understanding that the Legislature can remedy the situation by restoring the Sales Tax base and reimburse the school districts for any fees returned to students...”

The Court found on November 16, 2015 that the defendant school district (Meridian) is NOT providing a “general, thorough and free education” as required by Idaho’s Constitution. Courses that count towards graduation must be offered without charge. In the press release from the Plaintiffs, the unconstitutionally assessed fees statewide are estimated to be approximately $20 million per year.

League of Women Voters of Idaho are asking for your vote



TWIN FALLS, Id. -- The League of Women Voters of Idaho is working to get more money for education and is asking for your help through an initiative to change the law on state sales tax.

The state legislature cannot fund Idaho schools adequately because there is not enough money in the treasury. This is due to many sales tax exemptions such as heavy interstate trucks, Idaho National Labs, and funeral caskets.

The League of Women Voters of Idaho have an initiative to change the law and eliminate those 22 sales tax exemptions and add sales tax to 12 services that are not now taxed, like construction services, repair services, and lottery tickets.


A sales tax gamble

When the Idaho Legislature convenes next month, it will have to place its bets on the sales tax, just as the League of Women Voters already has.

The reason is a proposed initiative just released by the Idaho League of Women Voters “reducing the sales tax rate and broadening the sales tax base.” It does that most basically, by reducing the overall rate from six percent to five, and by extending the coverage of the tax to include not just many goods but also many services, which generally have been exempt.


Idaho ballot proposal would lower sales tax, cut exemptions

BOISE – The League of Women Voters of Idaho is launching a ballot initiative drive to lower Idaho’s sales tax from 6 percent to 5 percent, while eliminating some exemptions and expanding the tax to cover most services.

The changes would raise $424 million more a year that could be spent on schools.

If the measure makes the 2016 ballot, it would give voters a chance to restructure Idaho’s exemption-riddled sales tax system. Idaho’s 6 percent sales tax currently raises about $1.5 billion a year in gross collections, while the amount of exemptions is tallied at more than $2 billion, according to the state Division of Financial Management.


Thank You for supporting Idaho's children!

(Paid for by Fair Share Idaho, Corliss Neuber, Treasurer, 208.488.2070)